Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
My first extra story is on Gautrain, a limited-stop commuter rail system connecting Johannesburg, Pretoria and the airport in South Africa, the first part of which opened for the 2010 World Cup. It was a public–private partnership (PPP) project of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) type with all the typical problems: difficulty to find a contractor, the latter's difficulty to find financing, inflated ridership estimates and a concession period for the private operator much shorter than the lifetime of the infrastructure (requiring quicker return on investment), massive cost overruns and delays, so it was of course attacked as a white elephant.

As often happens with such projects, ridership on the part-opened project started out way below the inflated forecasts (100,000 passengers a day, which was particularly unrealistic given that they didn't order enough trains to carry that much...), but then rose solidly:

The operator is now struggling to add more peak hour capacity, and feasibility studies will be launched for 200 km of extensions.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 19th, 2014 at 02:43:51 PM EST

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