Thursday, November 8, 2012

Riding the GauTrain in Jo'Burg

GauTrain arriving at OR Tambo Airport
I heard a great NPR story  yesterday on South Africa's new high-speed train - the GauTrain - which links Johannesburg, Pretoria and most importantly for travelers, OR Tambo International Airport.

I had a chance to ride the train this summer while spending an overnight in Josie. It is exceptionally convenient, very clean and much faster than I expected - it flies along at speeds up-to 100 mph. It makes you feel like you've been teleported to Europe (or your flight from Paris or Amsterdam accidentally made a U-turn!).

After clearing customs, just follow the signs - it's a short, 5-10 minute walk to the GauTrain, max. Buying a ticket is a little confusing but there are representatives who will hold your hand through the purchasing process. And then you're off to the train. In less than 15 minutes, we went from baggage claim to sitting on an impressive train speeding its way to our hotel in Sandton. The comfortable ride took no more 15 minutes, which sure beats driving in Josie traffic for 45 minutes or more!

If your client is planning an overnight in Sandton or Rosebank, I'd highly recommend discussing the GauTrain with them. New Frontiers Tours will meet your client outside of customs, escort them to the GauTrain station and arrange a hotel pick-up at the Sandton or Rosebank train stop. It costs around $18 one-way (New Frontiers should be able to arrange for pre-purchased tickets), trains run every 12-20 minutes and the last train is at 8:30pm.

Admittedly, I'm a train geek but I think most people, including your clients, will be impressed with the GauTrain.

No comments:

Post a Comment