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Old 02-02-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,269,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lentzr View Post
Isn't there a plan in place for a high-speed rail system funded by China?
I think it is already operating on the short (half hour) run from Joburg to Pretoria, with plans for an extension to Durban.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Geneva, IL
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Don't forget about one of South Africa's most famous trains, the Blue Train.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Actually, you will not see any more wildlife than you would see driving across Texas. I hitchhiked from Joburg to Cape Town, and even up to Windhoek, and saw no wildlife at all. Outside the game preserves in Africa, very little wildlife is seen. I saw a few gazelles on the train in Tanzania, a hippo in the restaurant parking lot in Burundi, a few giraffes and ostriches along the road in Kenya, but one just doesn't see wildlife in unprotected places in Africa.

From Cape Town to Bloemfontein, the scenery is far from amazing. Again, West Texas comes to mind. That's all on Google streetview, you can travel it and see for yourself.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=south...,84.18,,0,8.92
Definitely not something you can generalize about. It really is a matter of luck, or if an eland jumps on your car, misfortune. One can see nothing or many things.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:31 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,055,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I think it is already operating on the short (half hour) run from Joburg to Pretoria, with plans for an extension to Durban.
I just found this recent article on that proposal, from Joburg to Durban. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

Japan Proposes High-Speed South African Railway Link - Bloomberg

You are correct there is a new rail system from Joburg to Pretoria! It opened up a couple of years ago. However, I am not sure if we can call the Pretoria to Joburg route "high-speed" rail. The fastest it goes on the route is 160km or 99mph. This is a "faster" train, like the Acela here in the US is faster, but 99mph is not technically a "high-speed" bullet train, like those in Japan or France that go over 200mph.

HIGH SPEED TESTING OF TRAINS IN FULL SWING | Gautrain - The Gautrain Project
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,510,898 times
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"High Speed Rail" is just a mantra ... a buzz-phrase peddled by those who think centralized planning and development of our transportation sysyem is a good idea. It hit its high point four years ago when Barry-O and his WonderPets took their big train ride from New York to Washington for the inauguration.

The President hasn't travellled by rail since -- according to common sources, no other sitting President has since JFK took a train to an Army-Navy game in the early Sixties. The Ferdinand Magellan, the private car used by FDR, Truman and (once) by Ike, went into storage decades ago.

I'm a lifelong railroad buff and a former Amtrak employee -- also hold a Transport Econ minor to my degree in Business Logistics. I can vouch that HSR "works" -- when the population density is sufficient to mandate it, and when it is built essentially "from scratch" as in France and Japan, and more recently in China.

When it has to be developed slowly -- over an existent system (and that is the only way it can happen in America; land is too costly and the "Not in My Back Yard" mentalitiy too strong) -- the process takes much longer.

South Africa has nowhere near the amount of wealth and development for what most Westerners envison when the HSR fantasy-sales pitch is trotted out.
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