Gautrain Opens In Time For World Cup
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA–(Marketwire – June 5, 2010) - Today, an official launch ceremony was held in Johannesburg to mark the readiness for the opening of the first phase of the Gautrain system. The festive occasion was hosted by the Gauteng Provincial Government and was held in the presence of Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, the Premier of Gauteng Province of South Africa, invited guests from the Provincial Government, shareholders and media. As the highlight of the event, the guests travelled on a BOMBARDIER ELECTROSTAR train, known as Gautrain, between Marlboro Station and OR Tambo International Airport Station.
The system will open to passengers on June 08, 2010. Bombardier significantly accelerated its program of works in order to enable South Africa to welcome Soccer World Cup visitors with Gautrain. The opening of Phase One of the rapid rail transit system will see a fleet of five ELECTROSTAR trains provide passenger services on the 20-km route between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and the hotels, shopping and commercial hub of Sandton, including the intermediate commuter stations at Marlboro and Rhodesfield.
André Navarri, President, Bombardier Transportation, said: “As a global leader in the supply of complete transportation systems for worldwide markets, we are exceptionally proud to be part of the South African Government’s commitment to build a modern and effective rail network. The Gautrain will be especially important for Johannesburg during the forthcoming Soccer World Cup tournament but it also promises to deliver a long-term economic contribution to the Gauteng Province.”
Eran Gartner, President, Systems Division at Bombardier Transportation, added: “I commend Bombardier’s multi-disciplined and dedicated team. They have overcome numerous challenges resulting from delays in the initial civil works to complete an accelerated program for Phase One to enable Gauteng Province and South Africa to welcome Soccer World Cup visitors with Gautrain in its golden livery. This rapid rail transit system for South Africa brings world-class railway skills to the country. We are hopeful that Gautrain will be the inspiration and benchmark for wide-scale upgrading of South Africa’s expansive passenger rail network, securing sustainable employment for our talented team, mobility for the nation and return on our significant investment in capacity-building.”
Upon completion of Phase Two, the Gautrain project will be a self-contained rapid rail link with 80-km of dual track and ten stations, connecting South Africa’s economic center of Johannesburg to its national capital in Pretoria to OR Tambo International Airport.
Bombardier, as a member of the Bombela Concession Company, was awarded a contract by the Gauteng Provincial Government of South Africa in September 2006. Bombardier’s contract scope is to deliver an integrated rail system including a fleet of 96 ELECTROSTAR vehicles, the majority of which are assembled in South Africa, and the BOMBARDIER CITYFLO 250 train control technology as well as the track work, power supply and distribution systems, communications systems, automatic fare collection, project management, systems engineering and integration, and testing and commissioning. In addition, Bombardier will be involved in maintaining the system during the 15-year operating period following construction. Bombardier is working closely with SPG, its Black Economic Empowerment partners on this project. Bombardier’s civil engineering partners, Bouygues Construction and Murray & Roberts, are responsible for the project’s impressive civil works, including tunnels, stations and the maintenance depot.
Bombardier Transportation’s facility in Derby, United Kingdom, designed the ELECTROSTAR fleet of trains. 81 of 96 vehicles have been supplied as “flat packs” for final assembly in South Africa, with only the first 15 vehicles fully-assembled in Bombardier’s Derby, UK manufacturing site.
As important as the Gautrain itself, the Social Economic Development (SED) program requires Bombardier to meet various obligations in terms of local employment and procurement. Bombardier to date has achieved all of its obligations and will exceed the remainder during the construction period. The Bombardier project team comprises of around 80% South African employees, with the remaining 20% of international experts participating in intense skills transfer and capacity-building programs.
Bombardier, through its strategy of establishing Local Roots, is committed to bringing sustainable solutions to South Africa; shaping the future of mobility by delivering products and services that combine energy-conserving technology with optimal safety, reliability and cost efficiency.
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