ContiTech Air Spring Systems, Hanover, has equipped all 96 vehicles of the new Gautrain in South Africa with air spring systems. The systems ensure that the football fans have a safe and comfortable journey to the World Cup matches. The train was developed by Bombardier Transportation, the world’s largest manufacturer of rail transport technology, based in Berlin.
The Gautrain is based on the ELECTROSTAR electric train from Bombardier, which has been in operation in the UK since 2002. “ContiTech air spring systems have already proven to be exceptionally reliable, ensuring problem-free operation in the ELECTROSTAR. The train boasts the highest reliability rate in the entire country,” says Friedrich Hoppmann, head of ContiTech’s Railway Engineering segment. In the meantime, more than 1,600 ELECTROSTAR vehicles are on the rails in the UK.
The new Gautrain is a key means of transportation in South Africa: the rail network was inaugurated on 8 June, just in time to get football fans from all nations to the stadiums for the football World Cup. The new train, which reaches a top speed of 160km/hr, was named after the Gauteng province, which includes the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. The track stretches from Johannesburg via Sandton to Pretoria (Tshwane) and Johannesburg’s international airport. The route also passes through a new tunnel near Johannesburg that is a good 15km long.