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:

(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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Paul

Enthusiast, writer, strategist, web developer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

  1. The French high-speed train is called TGV and as far as I know successfull at several national routesdestinations only – from Paris to South of France is very popular, Paris to Euro Disney was cancelled.

    In Holland a new track(!) is built, hooking up Paris-Brussels-Antwerp to Amsterdam.

    Speaking of an infrastructural disaster, watch that project. Massive environmental impact, years of traffic jams as the new track is built next to a major 8 lane artery, budget increases, delays of final delivery, skirmishes with France (which will exploit the trains).

    To top it off, constant questionsworries whether it will ever become economically viable – flying will most likely become even cheaper because of more liberalisation (at present one way tickets for R 200,00 within Europe) and will be faster (no stops), whereas the train tickets will be more expensive for sure (and will keep increasing as it is government opearated).

    Not sure about the Gautrain – I would guess a metromini traintram would suit (instead of 180kmh) and buses, yes.

    But SA doesn’t need a high speed train (for which passengers at what fares?) – let’s hope more airlines will be able to compete in the future, so prices can come down.

  2. The French high-speed train is called TGV and as far as I know successfull at several national routesdestinations only – from Paris to South of France is very popular, Paris to Euro Disney was cancelled.

    In Holland a new track(!) is built, hooking up Paris-Brussels-Antwerp to Amsterdam.

    Speaking of an infrastructural disaster, watch that project. Massive environmental impact, years of traffic jams as the new track is built next to a major 8 lane artery, budget increases, delays of final delivery, skirmishes with France (which will exploit the trains).

    To top it off, constant questionsworries whether it will ever become economically viable – flying will most likely become even cheaper because of more liberalisation (at present one way tickets for R 200,00 within Europe) and will be faster (no stops), whereas the train tickets will be more expensive for sure (and will keep increasing as it is government opearated).

    Not sure about the Gautrain – I would guess a metromini traintram would suit (instead of 180kmh) and buses, yes.

    But SA doesn’t need a high speed train (for which passengers at what fares?) – let’s hope more airlines will be able to compete in the future, so prices can come down.

  3. The French high-speed train is called TGV and as far as I know successfull at several national routesdestinations only – from Paris to South of France is very popular, Paris to Euro Disney was cancelled.

    In Holland a new track(!) is built, hooking up Paris-Brussels-Antwerp to Amsterdam.

    Speaking of an infrastructural disaster, watch that project. Massive environmental impact, years of traffic jams as the new track is built next to a major 8 lane artery, budget increases, delays of final delivery, skirmishes with France (which will exploit the trains).

    To top it off, constant questionsworries whether it will ever become economically viable – flying will most likely become even cheaper because of more liberalisation (at present one way tickets for R 200,00 within Europe) and will be faster (no stops), whereas the train tickets will be more expensive for sure (and will keep increasing as it is government opearated).

    Not sure about the Gautrain – I would guess a metromini traintram would suit (instead of 180kmh) and buses, yes.

    But SA doesn’t need a high speed train (for which passengers at what fares?) – let’s hope more airlines will be able to compete in the future, so prices can come down.

  4. The French high-speed train is called TGV and as far as I know successfull at several national routesdestinations only – from Paris to South of France is very popular, Paris to Euro Disney was cancelled.

    In Holland a new track(!) is built, hooking up Paris-Brussels-Antwerp to Amsterdam.

    Speaking of an infrastructural disaster, watch that project. Massive environmental impact, years of traffic jams as the new track is built next to a major 8 lane artery, budget increases, delays of final delivery, skirmishes with France (which will exploit the trains).

    To top it off, constant questionsworries whether it will ever become economically viable – flying will most likely become even cheaper because of more liberalisation (at present one way tickets for R 200,00 within Europe) and will be faster (no stops), whereas the train tickets will be more expensive for sure (and will keep increasing as it is government opearated).

    Not sure about the Gautrain – I would guess a metromini traintram would suit (instead of 180kmh) and buses, yes.

    But SA doesn't need a high speed train (for which passengers at what fares?) – let's hope more airlines will be able to compete in the future, so prices can come down.

  5. Nice idea, but don’t make any assumptions about prices. In the UK, you get can get from Glasgow to London in just over an hour for about £60 return by plane. As much as I love trains, it takes four and a half hours and costs about £180. No contest.

  6. Nice idea, but don’t make any assumptions about prices. In the UK, you get can get from Glasgow to London in just over an hour for about £60 return by plane. As much as I love trains, it takes four and a half hours and costs about £180. No contest.

  7. Nice idea, but don’t make any assumptions about prices. In the UK, you get can get from Glasgow to London in just over an hour for about £60 return by plane. As much as I love trains, it takes four and a half hours and costs about £180. No contest.

  8. Nice idea, but don't make any assumptions about prices. In the UK, you get can get from Glasgow to London in just over an hour for about £60 return by plane. As much as I love trains, it takes four and a half hours and costs about £180. No contest.

  9. Taxes on domestic tickets over here are (usually?) higher than the prices charged by the airliner – just another industry where prices are kept high (like you mentioned in your Telkom rant) by a government that wants to uplift the country but makes sure they hold a tight grip, ensuring a steady income flow from a small group of citizens, keeping it elitist.

    It can all be explained by looking at the backgrounds of the people in control: they were ‘educated’ in the USSR where the KGB controlled the country – no free market, but a closely monitored economic system.

    They got their ‘freedom’, only to make sure the market is not liberated – with quasi-competition and ‘transparent’ state-monopolies – that’s how crypto-marxists govern countries, even after the fall of the USSR – some people are just a bit slower in learning from history and adapting to the present situation. And some never learn…

  10. Taxes on domestic tickets over here are (usually?) higher than the prices charged by the airliner – just another industry where prices are kept high (like you mentioned in your Telkom rant) by a government that wants to uplift the country but makes sure they hold a tight grip, ensuring a steady income flow from a small group of citizens, keeping it elitist.

    It can all be explained by looking at the backgrounds of the people in control: they were ‘educated’ in the USSR where the KGB controlled the country – no free market, but a closely monitored economic system.

    They got their ‘freedom’, only to make sure the market is not liberated – with quasi-competition and ‘transparent’ state-monopolies – that’s how crypto-marxists govern countries, even after the fall of the USSR – some people are just a bit slower in learning from history and adapting to the present situation. And some never learn…

  11. Taxes on domestic tickets over here are (usually?) higher than the prices charged by the airliner – just another industry where prices are kept high (like you mentioned in your Telkom rant) by a government that wants to uplift the country but makes sure they hold a tight grip, ensuring a steady income flow from a small group of citizens, keeping it elitist.

    It can all be explained by looking at the backgrounds of the people in control: they were ‘educated’ in the USSR where the KGB controlled the country – no free market, but a closely monitored economic system.

    They got their ‘freedom’, only to make sure the market is not liberated – with quasi-competition and ‘transparent’ state-monopolies – that’s how crypto-marxists govern countries, even after the fall of the USSR – some people are just a bit slower in learning from history and adapting to the present situation. And some never learn…

  12. Taxes on domestic tickets over here are (usually?) higher than the prices charged by the airliner – just another industry where prices are kept high (like you mentioned in your Telkom rant) by a government that wants to uplift the country but makes sure they hold a tight grip, ensuring a steady income flow from a small group of citizens, keeping it elitist.

    It can all be explained by looking at the backgrounds of the people in control: they were 'educated' in the USSR where the KGB controlled the country – no free market, but a closely monitored economic system.

    They got their 'freedom', only to make sure the market is not liberated – with quasi-competition and 'transparent' state-monopolies – that's how crypto-marxists govern countries, even after the fall of the USSR – some people are just a bit slower in learning from history and adapting to the present situation. And some never learn…

What do you think?

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