The Gautrain.

The Gautrain (pronounced “How-Train”) was completed in Johannesburg in June 2010 to provide some sort of public transport for visitors.

This system is a big deal for the country. It’s like when MRT was first introduced to Singapore.

When we returned to Johannesburg from Singapore, the hubby took me on a train ride. He’s tried it on his own before, so I couldn’t wait to see it for myself.

Modern ticketing machines. Tickets were not cheap. A one way ticket that took us only 2 stops (15 mins ride) costs 100rand (~SGD20).

They let you keep the ticket, especially because this was a special edition launch card.

On the other side of the car, is the Gautrain service lines. It runs 80km and links several key areas of Johannesburg.

The entrance to the train platform was almost exactly like the ones we have in Singapore.

Remember that this is ordinary to us, but is a really big deal to the people here.

The train looked impressive. But it wasn’t big. Only 4 cars.

The trains were surprisingly VERY punctual.

The interior of the train reminded me of the airport trains of Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong.

The interesting thing for me, was to discover that we were at B9. B9!!!!! Sure, Joburg is on elevated land and we are usually 1700m above sea level. But to actually think that we were so “deep down” was pretty cool.

Tap the screen with your card to exit. Pretty standard!

I doubt the system would develop much further, so I had better lock down this experience. And I’m cheap.. ain’t gonna pay SGD20 for a train ride all the time.



  1. just curious … how’s the transport system in South Africa like?

    • It’s bad. That’s the reason why they rushed to build the Gautrain in time for the World Cup. It was one of the committee’s concerns, after crime.. that the visitors to South Africa for the World Cup would struggle getting around. The Gautrain goes from the airport to the major tourist spots. I doubt they would continue to expand much of it from now on. It’s costly with very low loads.

  2. Hi Bing,

    I stay In Pretoria , South-Africa. I’m planning to use the Gautrain to get to work :-)(It only opens in June 2011) .Not all the tickets are R100 , only if you take the train from or to the airport. The normal price between stations is from R17 to R27. They actually have already planned to build and approved phase 3 , wich will include areas like Menlyn in Pretoria and soforth . :-)

    • Hi Joe, thanks for highlighting!

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