New Gautrain line officially opens

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Gautrain1 Independent Newspapers Gautrain. Picture: Cara Viereckl.

The Gautrain's new city to city high speed train route between Johannesburg and Pretoria officially opened on Tuesday.

About a half hour journey is what it takes for the trip, which could end frustration for motorists commuting between the two cities daily.

“I have been driving to Pretoria from Randburg and back, for 11 years, and it made my life miserable,” passenger Gloria Maaka-Tlokana said.

“But this is so much easier, peaceful and secure and I can tell my family exactly what time I will be home.”

Maaka-Tlokana, who works for the education department, said she parked her car at Brightwater Commons shopping centre in Randburg, and then took the bus to Sandton station. From there she takes the Gautrain to Pretoria station.

Once in Pretoria, she boards another bus to Bosman street and then goes to work.

“The whole trip including the bus rides, take about an hour. And to think, it took me an hour just to leave Pretoria the other day.”

She said travelling on the Gautrain would also save her on vehicle maintenance costs.

“The best part is that I find I'm not so tired,” she said.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele boarded the Gautrain from Hatfield station. He was accompanied by Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi.

Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane was also supposed to be on board, but was ill with bronchitis.

Both Sandton and Hatfield station were abuzz.

A short ceremony would take place at the Sandton Station Piazza following the round trip.

Stops on the way to Hatfield were made at Marlboro, Midrand, Centurion and Pretoria stations. - Sapa

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Steve, wrote

IOL Comments
10:56am on 2 August 2011
IOL Comments

I caught the first train this morning - no more traffic stress. I'm sure the poor train driver has got arc-eyes from all the people taking photos as the train pulled into Centurion station.

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