A part of the Gauteng Provincial Government's Blue IQ Project, Gautrain has made provision for a rapid rail link, running north to south, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and west to east between Sandton and the OR Tambo International Airport. Construction of the Gautrain Rapid Rail started in October 2006 and was completed in June 2012. It consists of a number of underground stations, as well as above-ground stations.
Stations on the North-South line include Johannesburg's Park Station (underground), Rosebank (underground), Sandton (underground), Marlboro (above-ground and raised), Midrand, Pretoria Station and Hatfield. There is also a line from the O.R. Tambo International Airport (above-ground and raised) travelling to Sandton via Rhodesfield (raised) and Marlboro. A 200 kilometer expansion is underway and will consist of 3 new lines and 18 new stations, this may sound like an insignificant amount however it is expected to cost R18 billion and one line (Soweto Mamelodi) could take 6 years to build, most of the new stations will be in Johannesburg.
The east-west line from the airport to Sandton opened in June 2010 in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, while the north–south line opened on 2 August 2011, except for Park Station, which opened in 2012.
The rail system was designed to alleviate traffic on the N1 freeway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, which records vehicle loads of up to 300,000 per week day. An extensive bus feeder system has also been implemented, which allows access to the main stations from the outer suburbs, but is limited to a five-km radius, which neglects the rest of the suburbs. This is the first new major railway system that has been laid in South Africa since 1977.
In 2010, a high-speed rail link was proposed between Johannesburg and Durban.