We are pleased to welcome you to our uniquely diverse country for the 25th International Railway Safety Council meeting, which will take place from October 4-9 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg – The City of Gold – South Africa.
This is an extraordinary city, born just over 120 years ago with the discovery of gold, and since then, has been a city of commerce and opportunity. Even today Johannesburg continues to attract those looking for opportunity – it is a city populated by people who have come to realise their dreams.
The area of Johannesburg began on a vast undulating grassy plain, interspersed with ridges and ‘koppies’ (small hills) in an area known as the Witwatersrand, named after the white water springs that coursed through the area. Beneath that rough, but serene area, was gold.
Since then, the city has grown and became the largest and most populous city in South Africa. It is also the largest city in the world not built on or near a major water source. It is home to Africa’s tallest building, with a large CBD and many smaller urban centres. Today, the road infrastructure, telecommunications, health care, shopping, visitor attractions, dining and nightlife are world class.
Diversity in the transport sector, which is distinctly evident in rail, sees Johannesburg boasting a robust rail system, which connects the hinterland with our sea ports, as well as supporting connectivity with the Southern Africa railway system.
A system of rail operators committed to ensuring that technical capability, safety management systems, infrastructure development, public information programs and technological innovations are aligned to world-class standards.
The thriving operation of freight, passenger, tourism and even heritage trains on South African rail systems showcases its rail capability as the most important element of the country’s transport system.
Johannesburg is geographically fairly centrally located – the biggest urban metropolis and largest transport hub for local, cross-border and international travel in South Africa. More international carriers fly here than any other city in southern Africa, and there are direct flights to most major cities.
Through the years, Johannesburg has been the site of many iconic events. It was where the Springboks beat the All Blacks to take the Rugby World Cup in 1995, and where South Africa showed the world that we can host an event as large as the FIFA Soccer World Cup with style and grace.
From breathtaking natural wonders, to authentic wildlife encounters; from inspiring history, to heart-racing adventure; South Africa has a world of diversity within its borders – we’re just waiting for you to come and experience all we have to offer in 2015!
The IRSC2015 Team