Passengers stuck for hours as Gautrain loses power

  • Passengers were trapped in the Gautrain between Midrand and Centurion on Monday morning for at least two hours.
  • Gautrain says a power interruption caused the outage, with power only returning to that leg of the route by midday.
  • The company has to bus passengers between the Midrand and Centurion stations during the outage.

On Monday morning a power supply interruption on the Gautrain rail network between Midrand and Centurion in Johannesburg left passengers aboard the already-running train and passengers waiting at stations stuck, for at least a few hours.

The outage occurred around 8AM at the height of the rush hour according to users on X, many of which were posting from the stalled vehicle overlooking the highway. Another poster shared a video showing the Gautrain Station in Centurion packed as expectant passengers had to wait for the train to finish its commute.

Officially, Gautrain attributed the outage to a “power failure” and began transporting passengers between stations on Gautrain buses instead of the train. The outage was contained between the Midrand and Centurion stations. Power was only fully restored around 12 midday, which is when trains began moving again between the two stations.

Some passengers of the rail system said they were stuck in the Gautrain for at least two hours without air conditioning. The company apologised to commuters following the interruption.

The Gautrain was established ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and has since seen over 14 million commuters every year, with its route connecting Johannesburg to Pretoria. The train system provides a formal mode of transportation for residents that is also affordable.

Monday’s outage has commuters asking if the Gautrain is as reliable as it once was believed to be. The outage follows news of planned extensions to the Gautrain route as well as possible plans for a future full commercialisation.

This is according to Gauteng CEO Tshepo Kgobe, speaking with Engineering News, who said that planned extensions will be to poorer and underserved communities. The company is hoping to extend to network by 150km by 2026, but for that to happen it must continue to “run like clockwork.”

[Image – CC by 2.0/Darren Smith]


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