How to make your Gautrain experience even easier

Posted by Jacqueline Lahoud on 17 January 2012

On a recent red-eye trip to Johannesburg (from Cape Town), I decided to avoid the morning madness and the unpredictability of Joburg traffic by taking the Gautrain. I was delighted with the experience.

The Gautrain service from OR Tambo to Sandton is safe, speedy and seamless … and it’s affordable. I was reproved not to sit in traffic or get stressed about being late for my first appointment. The staff were friendly and helpful, the security was good and visible and the the train was spotless and modern.


Here’s how to make it really easy:

Car rental

If you need transport while in Johannesburg, reserve a car from AVIS or Budget in Sandton, both are conveniently located across the road from the Sandton Gautrain station. The best part is, there is no premium charge for hiring a car from the airport (11% of your bill – so you immediately save about R110 on a R1000 car rental bill). And you save on fuel from the airport to Sandton, thats about 40 km. at an average rate of R9.25 p/km, another saving of R So really you have a double win – time and money.

Finding the Gautrain at OR Tambo

If you only have hand luggage, stay on the level you arrive on (which will be the upper level), and walk towards and past International Arrivals or Terminal B. You will see signs for the Gautrain. It takes around 3-5 mins to walk across.

If you have to collect luggage, do so, then walk out of the arrivals halls and into the general waiting area, turn right towards the international terminal. Once past international, go up the escalators to the upper level. Look out for KFC and take another escalator up to the Gautrain terminal.

Purchasing a Gautrain card and loading money

This is really easy and several automatic tellers accept both cash and credit cards. Buy a card. Load money. Simple. If youd prefer human interaction, staff are willing to help you at the window kiosks. You will then need to scan your card at the entry point and at the exit point of your trip.

  • Load enough money for additional trips if you are planning to use the Guatrain again – this will save time the next trip round. I loaded R600 on my card, enough for three return trips.
  • The scanners are sensitive so they can scan through your purse/wallet, no need to take the card out to scan – just take your wallet out, or place it in the side of your bag or put it in a pocket that can get close to the scanner.
  • Eating or drinking is not allowed on the train but you can apply make up easily if you did not do it at 04h30 that morning.


Additional Gautrain information

  • The Cost of a single trip from the OR Tambo to Sandton is R105.
  • The trip takes 15 minutes.
  • Sandton is the third stop, the train will pass through Rhodesfield and Marlboro stations. Do not get off.
  • There is a train departing every 20 minutes on the hour (check out the full schedule here).
  • The last train is at 8 pm. Don’t miss it.
  • When you arrive at the Sandton station you are several floors below ground, although the lifts are congested, they are faster. About six to eight escalator flights are your alternative. You choose.


Moving about from the Sandton station

  • Walk out onto West St or the likes – Sandton City, many hotels and other facilities are now on your doorstep.
  • Walk across the road to collect your car (Avis and Europcar representatives are also present and they will drive you there if your bags are heavy and if you just prefer the comforts).
  • The bus terminus is right there and busses leave a few minutes after the train arrives to a variety of destinations including Rosebank and Fourways.


Enjoy your travels.


Image by maruisza on Flickr.

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