Gautrain

Project Details

Client Swiss Re
Date 2008-2011
Skills Insurance Audit, Programme Risk
Value Est. R25bn

Project Description:

The Gautrain Rapid Rail Link is a modern rapid rail network that comprises of two links, namely a link between Tshwane (Pretoria) and Johannesburg and a link between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton. Apart from the three anchor stations on these two links, seven other stations will be linked by approximately 80km of rail along the proposed route.

The project is managed as part of the Gauteng Department of Finance and Economic Affairs Public Private Partnership Unit. Gautrain was initiated as one of eleven Blue IQ projects of the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG).

Blue IQ is a multi-billion Rand initiative of the GPG to develop economic infrastructure for specific major projects in smart industries, high value-added manufacturing and tourism. It works in partnership with business and government departments as a catalyst to promote strategic private sector investment in key growth sectors of the Gauteng economy.

Bombela Concession Company (Bombela) holds the 20- year concession to design, build, part-finance and operate the rail link. Bombela manages the client (GPG) interface and provides an integrated solutions approach for this PPP project, led by an experienced executive team.  Bombela consists of a group of international companies and financers, including Murray & Roberts Limited, Bouygues Travaux Publics and Bombardier UK.

The scheme is a challenging arrangement of tunnels, underground stations, at grade track, elevated structures, surface and elevated stations, depots and rolling stock.

 LBA Role:

LBA was commissioned by Swiss Re, one of the project’s insurers, to assist in analysing programme risk specifically attributable to, but not limited to, the bored tunnel section of the project including the related station stops and ancillary structures, inclusive site visits and producing regular reports for Swiss Re.

Project Highlights

The scheme is a challenging arrangement of tunnels, underground stations, at grade track, elevated structures, surface and elevated stations, depots and rolling stock. The project utilises a number of both innovative and traditional excavation methods including:

  • Cut and cover tunnelling used in instances where the rail route needed to pass underneath existing rail lines or roadway structures and for the construction of major underground stations and caverns such as Sandton;
  • A 3km section of tunnel between Johannesburg Station and Park Station was excavated using a mixed face TBM excavating a tunnel of 6.8m diameter with a ground cover of 30m in some areas;
  • Conventional drill and blast methods used for tunnel excavation in remaining tunnel sections;
  • Top-down and bottom-up construction methods used in the construction of many of the underground stations and caverns with various methods of ground retention utilised including diaphragm walling, secant and contiguous piling and soil nailing.