Gautrain staff, dignitaries and guests celebrated the symbolic meeting of the Mushroom Farm Park and Marlboro Gautrain tunnels last week.
Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile performed an official ceremony signifying the meeting of Gautrain's two twin-track tunnels, which were excavated simultaneously towards one another.
Accurate geological surveying ensured that the two tunnels were right on target when the remaining few metres separating the two tunnels were blasted away.
The actual "breakthrough" was achieved on September 24, thus forming one continuous tunnel just more than 4200m long.
The section between Mushroom Farm Park and Marlboro Portal will accommodate two sets of tracks that will be separated by a dividing wall.
This stretch of the tunnel forms an important part of the 15-minute airport link between Sandton Station and OR Tambo International Airport Station.
More about the Gautrain:
lGautrain carriages will travel at 160kmh;
lEach four-car commuter train will carry up to 321 seated passengers;
lThe first phase of Gautrain is expected to start operating at the end of June 2010 between OR Tambo Airport and Sandton; and
lThe complete Gautrain system is expected to be fully operational by March 2011.