Gautrain to expand to Mamelodi, Soweto

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File: It's been five years since the first carriage hit the rails, and the Gautrain has carried more than 15 million passengers.

File: It's been five years since the first carriage hit the rails, and the Gautrain has carried more than 15 million passengers.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gautrain is planning on taking its service to previously disadvantaged areas.

As it celebrates its fifth anniversary this month, officials have announced plans to upgrade the the rapid-rail system.

New tracks will be built between Mamelodi, in the east of Pretoria, and Soweto, in the south-west of Johannesburg.

Gauteng&39;s road and transport MEC, Ismail Vadi boarded the Gautrain on Monday to celebrate the system&39;s fifth anniversary and other milestones.

"We have now recorded 50-million passenger trips over the past five years so this is a significant achievement for us, In total, I think there has been 300,000 train trips that have been recorded and possibly 1,5-million bus trips that have been recorded.”

The CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency, Jack van der Merwe said about 200km of new railway line and 18 new stations are planned.

The management agency hopes to have a feasibility study completed by the first quarter of next year and would approach Treasury for funding by the middle of next year.

The agency plans to start construction on the new lines and stations within the next two years, click on the above video for the story.

– Gerhard Pretorius