Gautrain ready to roll from Rosebank to Hatfield
Starting today commuters will be able to buy Gautrain tickets to travel between Rosebank in Johannesburg and Hatfield station in Pretoria
All stations, except for Park Station, will open for ticket sales to commuters, who will be able to start using the service from Tuesday, Gauteng roads and transport MEC Ismail Vadi said at a press briefing in Johannesburg yesterday.
The commissioning of the Gautrain’s Pretoria leg comes a month late after the Bombela Operating Company, the concessionaire operating the train service and the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA), which acts for the Gauteng province, have had to negotiate a solution to manage the excess of water seeping into the underground tunnel that connects Rosebank and Park stations.
It had been agreed the tunnel would not be used until the additional engineering and construction work needed to slow the water seepage by up to 50% had been completed, said GMA CEO Jack van der Merwe .
About 6-million litres of water seeps into the tunnels between Rosebank and Park stations every day. It is collected into sumps and pumped into the Sandspruit River.
Engineers will have to drill holes in the walls of the tunnel and inject grout to slow the water flow, Mr van der Merwe explained. This process would be repeated until the desired levels were achieved. The tunnel may be in use by the end of the calendar year .
Bombela CEO Jerome Govender said he could not disclose the cost of the additional work as it had not been calculated yet. Mr Govender also could not say how much the month-long delay had cost the concessionaire nor what the size of the penalties would be for the late start of the project.
"There are penalties and they will be borne by the subcontractors of the Bombela Concession Company . These penalties are very small relative to what they could have been," Mr Govender said in response to questions.
He repeatedly declined to clarify his statement. "I can’t go into the details," he said.
The province would not bear the extra cost of the additional work on the tunnel, Mr van der Merwe said. The cost for the province had been fixed at R25,2bn, he said.
It will take about six months for the train to reach the passenger volumes required to meet the financial targets , he said.
GMA forecasts that in six months up to 108000 people will use the train every day — enough to absorb 20% of the road traffic between the cities.