New Gautrain coaches will "create a different demand for travel"

Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe plans to acquire second-hand rolling stock from UK.

Speaking at the Southern African Transport Conference, Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe said that the agency is planning to spend up to R2 billion to acquire second-hand additional “rolling stock” from the United Kingdom to deal with the capacity constraints on the high-speed train network.  

He explained that one of the Gautrain Management Agency’s teams has just returned from the UK, where they identified three rolling stock companies they are now negotiating with. 

The agency is looking to bring in between 18 and 35 coaches for the Gautrain, which will “most probably” arrive in South Africa within the next 18 months. 

Van der Merwe said that loan funding for the acquisition of rolling stock has been obtained from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and that the project will cost a maximum of R2 billion.

“You will be quite surprised to see what rolling stock we are going to run on the system. You all know it and have driven in it. I’m not going to spoil the surprise,” Van der Merwe said. 

The additional rolling stock will run from the airport on the east-west line and then all the existing trains will run on the north-south line. 

He added that: 

“This will create a different demand for travel. The first thing people want to do when they become financially independent is that they want to buy a car. The only thing that gives me hope is that millennials do not want to buy a car but want to sit on public transport and play with their cellphones.”