Joburg to Cape Town in 2 hours … by train

Wouldn’t that be something? Sure you can fly to Cape Town/Joburg in 2 hours or less but consider the cost which can be up to R2 000 or so per person, return. Imagine making that trip by train instead for considerably less (ok, I am guessing on prices). Take a look at this test run of a train in France and think about the possibilities:

574,8 Km/h World rail speed record 2007
Uploaded by V150_

(Source: Cherryflava)

Now if only our government would spend some money on real public transport enhancements instead of blowing the money on shoddy PR stunts. Could the money spent on the Gautrain (which will run at 180km/h) be put to better use enhancing our existing public transport system instead? The Gautrain is expected to cost in excess of R20 billion and part of me wonders if that money couldn’t be used to buy more buses and in developing a far more efficient public transport schedule. If we had a bus schedule as reliable as London’s, for example, it could work out far cheaper for commuters to take the bus to work.

I was just reading on Wikipedia that the Gautrain is going to use a standard gauge track whereas our rail network uses a non-standard gauge track. I wonder what it would cost to develop a high speed train network like the one we see in the French video running between our major cities? Could those trains run on our track or would new tracks need to be laid (and at what cost)?

Imagine the possibilities: an efficient, safe and reliable bus network within the cities and a high speed (think 400km/h to 500km/h) train between cities …

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