Three sets of escalators descend through concrete tunnels and braces to platform C; the departure point from Sandton to O R Thambo International Airport.
There’s a dusty, musty smell that increases in intensity as the escalators descend deeper. Layers of dust coat the tops of struts and braces that hold the tunnels and escalators and structures in place and there’s a gentle hum of machinery and fluorescent lighting.
Yet, apart from the collected dust in hard-to-reach places, the Sandton station is clean and shiny. Signboards, diagrams and neon lighting cleverly direct passengers, eliminating the language barrier.
Highly visible security guards patrol the platforms and tunnels; there’s a pervasive sense of quiet control.
The four-car-train to the airport is swift, silent and comfortable. Baggage stacks away in demarcated places and passengers are lulled by the train’s motion.