Soweto Business Train runs today

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

The long-awaited Soweto Business Express Train will hit the township's rail tracks today.

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, Gauteng transport MEC Ignatius Jacobs, South African Rail Commuters Corporation (SARCC) chief Lucky Montana and Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo will launch the R2million train at Naledi station.

The Department of Transport said the new luxurious train would be launched to encourage Soweto residents, especially the younger high-income earners, to use the rail mode of transport to go to work. This could reduce congestion on Johannesburg's roads.

The 530-seater train will start from Naledi station and stop at Ikhwezi and Dube stations before reaching Johannesburg's Park Station within 45 minutes.

SARCC spokesman Pule Mabe said the train would have a cabin crew who would serve tea. Newspapers would also be provided on board.

Mabe said the train would be fitted with electrical points to allow passengers to use electrical equipment on board.

A park-and-ride service has been provided for people using their vehicles to get to the stations, Mabe said.