Of Gautrains and stations

There are three guys in my office whose job it is to review the evidence – cost-benefit analyses, emissions studies, traffic analysis, urban sprawl, you name it – for a mooted east-west addition to the Gautrain network. I ride the train most days, from Jo’burg to Pretoria and back again, and much as I love the speed, safety and convenience I do have to wonder about the economics.

Fortunately, though, it’s not my problem. What does exercise my imagination is the place of the human, in all of this. It’s something to do, perhaps, with the scale of the individual versus the built environment, the symbolism of waiting on a platform for a train to come in or pull out, the messaging – overt or subliminal – that constantly bombards us.

It’s something, too, about journeys and destinations – bustle and pause, hurry and wait, your life rattling along rails to some unknown end-point.

I hope you enjoy these images.