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Wednesday / 19 June 2024
HomeNewsHydrogen-powered Gautrain being investigated – Dates and details

Hydrogen-powered Gautrain being investigated – Dates and details

In his inaugural speech, the Gautrain Management Agency’s (GMA) new CEO, Tshepo Kgobe, announced that the entity is exploring the possibility of converting all its trains and buses to run on hydrogen post-2026 to reduce the Gautrain’s energy consumption and reliance on the grid.

“We are working on greening our operations and taking most of the station off the grid through solar power solutions and ensuring that most of our buses are powered by hydrogen,” said the new CEO.

“Furthermore, as we refurbish the trains post-2026, we will explore the possibility of developing them into hydrogen trains.”

Kgobe will additionally focus much of his energy as the new CEO on making the GMA financially sustainable.

This will be achieved through partnering with private firms to develop the property in and around Gautrain stations where the GMA already has the rights to the land.

“Gautrain Precincts will therefore become a hub for business, retail, and social activities, supported by an integrated, accessible, and affordable public transport system,” he said.

“The Gautrain will become an even more integral part of people’s daily lives and the mobility of choice in the province, not only for work, business, and school; but also for large-scale social, sport and lifestyle events, and places of fun and entertainment.”

Gautrain expansion taking shape

The expansion of the Gautrain which will see the GMA add another 150km of rail network to the existing 80km is “also taking shape,” according to Kgobe.

Phase 1 of the route – comprising extensions from Marlboro Station to Little Falls Station – has been finalised, with work already underway on Phase 2 which is looking at lengthening the tracks towards Roodepoort and Soweto.

The expansion is aimed at covering underserviced areas including townships, and it will also “look into the ticket price model to accommodate low-income groups and areas as Gautrain expands its services across the province,” said the Gauteng government’s Dr Thulani Mdadane.

The upgrade is expected to kick off in 2026 when the Gauteng Provincial Government is set to assume ownership of the express commuter rail system after the current concession expires.

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