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Friday Jul 06, 2012

High-speed rail proposed for Durban in 20 years

A railway linking the King Shaka International Airport with the Durban CBD is in the pipeline - but don't buy your ticket just yet; it's only expected to be developed within the next 20 years.

This is according to Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) group chief executive Lucky Montana, who said over the next two decades the country would have to develop a second, high-speed rail network, adding to the existing, slower intercity Metrorail commuter network.

Speaking at Africa Rail 2012 in Johannesburg last week, Montana said Prasa would spend about R123 billion on this renewal.

These new high-speed trains would be able to travel at about 220km/h, and accommodate up to 45 000 passengers during peak periods.

"There has been a lot of debate about whether this is a priority, but from where government stands, this is a key requirement of our time," Montana said.

He said a condition had been set that 65 percent of train components must be manufactured in South Africa, which would create about 75 000 jobs.

Also in the pipelines is a Johannesburg-to-Durban highspeed rail link, which would reduce travel time between the two cities to just three hours.

"South Africa can no longer afford to fall behind the rest of the world," Montana said.

Daily News

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