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Gautrain hat Feuertaufe bestanden

10:06 08.06.2010

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    Jungfernfahrt für den südafrikanischen Superzug. In den frühen Morgenstunden waren die ersten Johannesburger Pendler mit dem Gautrain unterwegs. Ein Erlebnis - auch wenn nicht alles auf Anhieb geklappt hat.

    Yvonne Johnston ist begeistert. Sie war heute morgen einer der ersten, die den nagelneuen Superzug “Gautrain”  getestet haben. Er verkehrt auf der Teilstrecke zwischen Sandton bei Johannesburg und dem größten Flughafen der Region. Heute konnten zum ersten Mal Pendler mit ihm reisen.

    Die Südafrikanerin twittert:” Sitting on the beautiful Gautrain, Sandton to OR Tambo airport in 15 minutes, at 160 kms per hour. Fabulous.” (“Ich sitze gerade im schönen Gautrain; von Sandton zum Flughafen dauert es mit 160 km/h nur 15 Minuten”).

    Auch LucianoGFilho ist begeistert und twittert: “The dream come true , the Gautrain is a reality now! Congratulations South Africa! Well done!” (“Der Traum ist wahr geworden, der Gautrain ist jetzt Realität! Herzlichen Glückwunsch Südafrika! Gut gemacht!”)

    Aber es gibt nicht nur positives Feedback. Barrie Bramley twittert verärgert:  “Sandton @Gautrain station is a nightmare. No staff. No info. No tickets. It’s a massive #fail. An embarrassment.” (“Sandton Station ist ein Albtraum. Kein Personal. Keine Info. Keine Tickets. Es ist ein massiver Reinfall. Eine Peinlichkeit.”).

    Auch über die Rückfahrt hat Barrie wenig Schmeichelhaftes zu berichten: “#Gautrain mess continues on return journey. Each passenger must have their own smart card. U think they’d tell you before R1000 charge on 1?” (“Das Gautrain-Chaos setzt sich auf der Rückfahrt fort. Jeder Passagier muss seine eigene Smart Card haben. Denkst du, dass sagen sie dir bevor sie dir 1000 Rand abknüpfen?”)

    In einer E-Mail an “This is South Africa” erzählt Fatima Jakoet exklusiv über ihre erste Fahrt mit dem neuen Zug:

    It has been months, no years that I have been watching the scene unfold from my office, nearly every day – giant construction site, from the air it seemed like a vein weaving its way through the greater Gauteng. Soon every South African and visitor to our beloved South Africa, will have the privilege of a 12 minute ride between OR Tambo international and Sandton City centre.

    For months I have been dreaming about my first journey on the Gautrain. The golden bullet which travels at an average speed of 160 km/h commenced its operation on Tuesday 08 June 2010 making history as the first high speed urban train on the African continent. Now Johannesburg, Africa’s business hub, takes yet another step towards realising the ideal of a world-class city travel.

    Reports of the first day were pouring in and on the internet and it seemed like it went exceptionally well. A record 11000 commuters reported to have utilized the service on the first day.

    I could no longer resist the temptation of travelling on our proudly South African Gautrain. An sms to my friend, who was in Hong Kong at the time catalyzed the process. Yes, she is landing early morning and yes she will have breakfast with me in Sandton!

    We carefully coordinated our meeting and purchased our tickets without any fuss or complication. The ticketing system is similar to that of the high speed train in Hong Kong and the London underground. The friendly Gautrain staff were visible and eager to advise and assist. Not that it was necessary but I loved the feeling of being a tourist in our lovely country.

    As we watched the electronic updates on the trains’ arrival, the minutes couldn’t tick by fast enough as Gerry and I eagerly awaited for the Gautrain to pull into OR Tambo station. Then as if it has done it a thousand times before the golden bullet silently sails along its tracks into the station. Seconds later, the cameras are clicking away at the rate that makes the Gautrain look like the celebrity of the century. You could just feel the energy of excitement as journalists, tourists, children accompanied by their parents board the train for the first time.

    Fifteen minutes on the beautiful golden bullet and we step into the heart of Sandton. The train station is conveniently located at the Nelson Mandela Square and the Sandton Shopping Centre. In our excitement we hopped onto the Sandton circular bus never realising that we were right where we wanted to be to enjoy our intended breakfast! Of course we needed to fimiliarise ourselves with Sandton!

    As time goes by, the novelty of the Gautrain is sure to wear off but gone are the days of stressful traffic jams or rushing to make your flight ar OR Tambo International. The Gautrain with its seamless, steamless operation is here to serve you!




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