South Africa is exploring the possibility of the cooperation with China on developing the Johannesburg-Durban high-speed railway, the newspaper Business Day reported on Thursday.
“The discussion of the technological cooperation with China on the new high-speed railway between the largest city and financial center of Johannesburg and the eastern port city of Durban has been conducted,” the newspaper said.
“China’s CRH380A train with a design speed of 380 km per hour has already achieved a speed of 416 km per hour on the Shanghai- Hangzhou intercity High-Speed Railway, while a next generation CSR prototype has reached 500 km per hour,” said the newspaper.
In recent years, the South Africa’s Department of Transport has been actively advancing its project of the high-speed railway line linking Johannesburg and Durban.
In April 2010, South Africa’s Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele proposed to construct the Johannesburg-Durban high-speed railway system. In June 2010, the minister repeated the proposal.
The planned Johannesburg-Durban high-speed railway is about 560 km long, with an expectation of cost at 30 billion US dollars.
The newspaper said “It will be a reality for the passengers to spend more than one hour on the high-speed train between Johannesburg and Durban by 2030.”
“As the line operates, the residents in Johannesburg could enjoy the beautiful evening beaches in Durban after a tough day’s work,” said the newspaper.
In May 2010, the South Africa’s Department of Transport presented Parliament with the ambitious National Transport Master Plan, expecting to shape a modern high-speed railway network in the country by the end of 2050. The network consists of high-speed projects from Johannesburg to Durban, Johannesburg to the legislative capital of Cape Town with a range of approximately 1, 260 km and Johannesburg to the town of Musina in the northern province of Limpopo with a range of about 520 km.
Currently high-speed train giants in the world are intensifying their efforts to occupy the South African market shares on the project of the Johannesburg-Durban high-speed railway.
On Jan. 27, Alstom Transport South Africa director Philippe Roch said Alstom in France keeps the record for the world’s fastest train ride at 574.8 km per hour, set in April 2007, “having 60 percent of the global very high-speed rail market.”
“Alstom is keen to take part in the building of a South African very high-speed rail service,” Roch said.
On June 7, South Africa’s first high-speed railway line Gautrain was fully operational as its final leg between Park station and neighboring Rosebank Station in Johannesburg opened.
The Gautrain system is the first modern high-speed railway on the African continent, linking Johannesburg and Pretoria with a maximum speed of 160 km per hour.