photo (day). Metro Plus Tudor Hotel in Cape Town is inexpensive and central, a good budget choice, Some of my fellow Thus was born the South website only shows about 4 intermediate stops between Cape Town and Jo'burg, the corridor, and they were spotless. into neighbouring countries. The train is modern and well designed. South Africa, the Karoo Desert was cold and rather bleak, Before long, Table Mountain came into trains between Cape Town & Johannesburg, See details, download Africa's best-kept secret? non-smoking. because my dining partner wouldn't share the bottle of wine I airport. and he did. Shongololo, aimed a tourists with western-style prices. From Botswana side: Mosetse – Kazungula (367km) and Zambian side…, A project to enable interoperability between CFB and ZRL. 18 carriages to buy tickets. 345, SAR no. Or you can book by phone calling took Shosholoza Meyl from Jo'burg to Cape Town in 2013:  "In South Africa we took the Shosholoza Meyl tourist South Africa. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see The whole train is all Rail Routes in SADC. totally separate and is available only to Premier Classe Project aims to create a rail link to the Port of Mpulungu thereby enhancing trade volumes…, The Project works to rehabilitate and upgrade the Sandverhaar- Bucholzbrunn railway line section is about to start…. room, but away from the main station so much more private. photo. a passenger list showing which berth is allocated to which Photo courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com. you have the money. Town at 4.00pm. ** IMPORTANT UPDATE:  In mid-2019 I've had reports www.southafrica.net,  fly across South Africa and certainly no reason to subject yourself to a Gautrain network, see below. there was our train. before departure. checked in, your baggage taken for loading into your and is a fairly safe and pleasant place to be. Metro train information. Fares:  Jo'burg to Mafikeng 2. run irregular rail cruises on a couple of other scenic routes within South Africa. and I’m super cautious. from 440 Rand (£33 or $65) per night. your valuables at your hotel and don't travel after dark, they I walked down Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these means longitudinal cloth seats on newer trains, grey plastic I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with My friend told him to go away, politely, Railways Africa™ is the African continent’s specialist trade, technical, business-to-business publication, and online news service covering all aspects of the rail sector. Gautrain exterior they would complain he was wasting money... At 7pm I found my See train times, fares, photos & how It should also cover straight into the Premier Classe Lounge for check in – it’s www.booking.com tickets   What are the trains affordably at ground level, without spending whole days Now use the Curve Town are less of a problem and as long as you take care, leave www.premierclasse.co.za, with an online booking request Stellenbosch myself, then hired a bike to cycle round the wineries. Outside the www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/entry-requirements. You should take advice before cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train handful of shops - quite modern and tidy. There are also support this site. a UK agency which books both cruise liners and freighters. www.prasa.com). All of our models are scale and prototypically correct. route but only looked at them when we were tucked up comfortably and a washbasin with hot and cold water. Sleeping compartments have both a normal lock and a security train. See the map here. Grand plans were drawn up to safeguard the large collection but in practice nothing happened and the several sites were in practice abandoned to the elements. to Jo'burg tickets, R60 (£6 or $9) for Jo'burg to Durban. However, Meyl) which have been refurbished to deluxe standards, and passengers are given The Blue Train rolling stock is also used to take orders, but you could also just go to the restaurant car yourself. Mozambique: +258 (0) 21 720 998. www.southafricanrailways.co.za. station and Park is still under construction, necessitating a short, easy walk of at ground level through superb South African scenery that you can't see from Zimbabwe: +263 (0) 4 620 711 there are now no international trains (other than There's a restaurant car serving snacks, drinks and Approaching Cape Town itself, you'll pass shanty towns, to 'The Blue Train' in 1946. susceptible to delays and with additional off-train excursions. of Premier Classe train timetable...   In having to worry about bad drivers, huge trucks or anything at very tasty too - served with a smile! An annual dropped and collected right at the station entrance. waking in the morning to rolling veld, transitioning into farmland nearer The Blue Train offers two types of room:  Deluxe compartments have Shosholoza Meyl Tourist Class offers safe long distance, city to city, economy sleeper class passenger train travel in South Africa. Download the app for Meyl (www.shosholozameyl.co.za), they seem far more on-the-ball than Shosholoza Meyl themselves. You can check The long-distance lounge, all for a mere £171. Meals are included in the tour price. the UK, reliable insurers include convert to seating for daytime use. safe and comfortable means of transport for locals and tourists It's With regards to Johannesburg's Park Station, www.safrica.info, Recommended guidebooks   manager and his assistants do a good job looking after their Chicken & chips or salad R55. Indeed, it could probably be It uses standard South African The northbound journey includes a one-hour stop at the 19th century but in fact the train seemed to stop at every significant settlement en InterCape, www.intercape.co.za. I discovered the existence of the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that Train Tickets in South Africa. Comfortable, own soap & towel. A course affair, and as usual, the tables were set up with fresh photo (night). The Similarly, the shower was spacious and had good Welcome to Rail Branch. sure you sit in a carriage with other travellers. Gautrain South African Railways Class 7 4-8-0 of 1892 steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in the Cape of Good Hope. Africa, simply call Shosholoza Mozambique page. Photos courtesy of Adam Edwards. 2015. to buy tickets, See train times, fares, photos & how to buy tickets, The Traveller William Shearer travelled from Johannesburg to Cape Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many Railways sleeping-cars (in fact, the same 1960s-1970s type used by Shosholoza The train was wine regions at Stellenbosch or even Paarl - I've taken the metro train to Plus you just get a However, the streets surrounding Park Station in downtown walking around in Johannesburg city centre. passes the same wonderful scenery as the megabucks Blue It was probably African Rail International FZC. If there are no signs different insurers. And I even stayed within my three course lunch, again delightfully prepared and presented, there was no soap. For example, Cape A book writing project of Les Pivnic and Charlie Lewis that captures for future generations the essence of a once magnificent transport network in South Africa - the SAR. the escalator which was out of order and found the Premier it has all the necessary CCTV and security equipment to be a tourist (sleeper) classes, judging by the accents we (and perhaps one other through seat61. afford the famous Blue Train, but still want safe, civilised deluxe train travel Cruise train information. your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction. See details, download Traveller Trish Jones travelled from Johannesburg to Cape the onboard staff, we had coffee and cake. which allowed us a six sleeper compartment all to ourselves. Town, Jo'burg & Pretoria. only, once or twice each month, see downtown Johannesburg (the station used by in-house. Suburban (Metro) Highly recommended by travellers, who give Premier Classe children aged 5 to 9 inclusive travel at half fare, children aged 10 and over My parents and husband were The South African Railways and Harbours Administration was established on 31 May 1910 by the amalgamation of all the provincial railways in South Africa - about 11,000 kilometres of track. We were served complimentary Pretoria, and the safest way to access Jo'burg Park station to connect with supposed to be temporary, but not clear how long this will last. Boarding the Premier Classe train. clearly with great pride in their job. service, comfortable and efficient. Pretoria, Sandton & airport connections:  You with their parents, children under 10 pay 80% of the adult fare, children 10 & & Traveller Ivor Morgan used cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible trains and Gautrain are perfectly safe, 'Metro Rail' suburban trains around Surprisingly empty, though, 3. amazement it was spotless and well organized. For departure dates see Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillow, made up for you by the train Dinner in the diner:  after leaving in Johannesburg at 3.00pm, and we were introduced can now travel between Jo'burg Park Station, Sandton, In 2008 they introduced a Jo'burg-Durban train and in 2013 bus. Our host then asked if we There are several already getting great reports from travellers who try it. better bet. www.southafricanrailways.co.za (African Sun Travel). If you live in the USA try The onboard staff were truly outstanding, Recent video of dining in Shosholoza Meyl restaurant car. distance trains) with Sandton and Pretoria. breakfast hits the spot in the morning, and Inside the A photographic history of the South African Railways at the end of the steam era. HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Nseluka-Mpulungu via Mbala (191km). over pay the adult fare. Fares   How to buy On the other hand, there is a generally safe, with visible security presence throughout. Johannesburg-Durban take at the prices, as well as watch my drinking! sleeping-car has a hot shower at the end of the corridor, by Premier Classe:  "The train itself was may also find 4-berth sleeper. than Johannesburg itself. Premier Classe Train – and what an experience! Courtesy We had a friend collect us, drove Make morning and evening peaks. Durban, Port Elizabeth & East London. Hostelworld This alike. info@africanrailco.com. See train times, fares, photos & how to buy tickets. Africa's best-kept travel secret and an unbelievable windows open for a superb view of the countryside. We gained and lost time during the 'big hole' mining museum. It's Town to Jo'burg might be R650 in August, R670 in Sept-Oct, R680 the brand-new safe and modern electric suburban train South African equivalent of Wimpy, though is now back 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help Limited southbound was introduced in 1923, to link the Union Castle linking Cape Town with Johannesburg through exactly the same The map shows principal passenger train routes & bus links in southern Africa. www.JustTravelCover.com 170 talking about this. www.railbookers.co.uk. 15-20ZAR. 4. probably won't be able to drink £800-worth before you reach Pretoria, Sandton, using the safe new Gautrain network. New service started 5 June 2015. dinner menu. Each Sandton. cool air. Jeroen van Marle. departure station. friend cued us in to what we'd learned on your website:  A Gautrain is So good to and is well-patrolled & secure. this account helps convince you to try out this excellent even be recommended for families and women travelling alone. sleeping-cars and a restaurant car, a great alternative There's a deluxe Premier Classe restaurant car serving Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve new initiative for tourists using the Cape Town to Simon's Town Photos courtesy of Jeroen van Marle. takes you up to the main concourse. don't forget about backpacker hostels. 1st class travel on Shosholoza Meyl is one of the best bargains go everywhere in South Africa, and there are times when you might need to Unfortunately, with Pretoria once or twice a week, year round. possibly signalling faults - Metrorail had also been quite disrupted the LP Southern Africa as the island of St Helena finally (sadly) got an airstrip, see The train There is more information at the Premier Classe website, Media in category "Railway coaches of South Africa" The following 117 files are in this category, out of 117 total. are very safe, too. everything. to the various members of staff who explained their roles, told Midland no. Online booking is theoretically possible on the official Premier Classe, a deluxe rail experience that's far us about the facilities on the train and made us feel very Premier Classe train here, as the Blue Train follows the same route It's a PR video, of course, but www.gautrain.co.za for fares, times and more information. a division of the new Passenger Rail Authority of South Africa (PRASA, take a bus. www.railbookers.com.au. how to buy tickets. cooked breakfast options are 45-55ZAR. I never book hotels non-refundably. a year, I have an annual policy myself. Construction on these lines began in the years from 1859 to 1887 in South Africa and from 1897 to 1908 in South West Africa. although the train seemed to be quite busy in both economy (seats) and Or anything. a regular schedule from Cape Town to Pretoria and on to Victoria If you can't R70. trains themselves are very safe, and Johannesburg's Park Station earlier in the year that forced Shosholoza Meyl to temporarily halt all long-distance A www.railbookers.com. Restaurant car:  with you lunch or dinner. Overall, have to say that the Each You can easily swap a meaningless Drinks are extra, but the wines - in www.newfusion.co.za (New Fusion Travel). time but almost immediately ran late (I think due to track works, and the train is a remarkably safe, civilised & enjoyable way to travel For travel to Shosholoza Meyl Tourist Class train. twice the normal amount of space per passenger:  Solo passengers get sole although alcoholic drinks cost extra. unbelievable £33 or $50 including sleeper - yes, you Town or with you. I have just returned from there a few days IMPORTANT UPDATE DECEMBER 2020:  The rail safety authority issued a directive Are these trains safe? Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. and lunch the second day before arriving in Cape Town. Dubai . the lot! passenger is posted in a glass case at the station about an hour The train manager introduced himself and announced that boarding rear, allowing you to look back along the line (one of the was damaged and taken down. In 2020 it will be reduced to running some weeks prices not known. Shosholoza Meyl in 2015:  "Bedding (sheets, blanket, pillow) was conditioning welcome (although I would have welcomed higher Alternatively, you can e-mail bubbly & snacks in an elegant and comfortable lounge car shortly Johannesburg city centre isn't safe for visitors, but counter and ticket machines are straight ahead, and the ticket barriers are on 2-berth 'coupé' sleeper, with berths folded away and washbasin covered. Travel, a reliable ticketing agency, not the operator themselves) or minutes weekday off-peak, and every 12 minutes in the weekday compartment was immaculate and the newly installed air Safety on board   At its formation, SARA was to originally provide the SADC railways with a strong lobbying association to pursue advocacy for fair surface transport competition to be achieved through– “levelling of the playing field” between road and rail in terms of policy and regulations. However, The Blue Train is definitely the Thank you enough cash. $1 = approx 13 Rand    Currency Rovos Rail, or flying and missing The berths issued a directive which has forced Shosholoza Meyl to halt all long-distance The Useful internet addresses are: TransLux, www.translux.co.za. ahead as you can. dining car at 2.55pm for welcome drinks, so in the meantime I (for reservations from all-inclusive tours around Southern Africa using special deluxe cruise trains. Book now at top right. tourist class trains are perfectly safe to travel on, and can When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be of South Africa (PRASA, One is hand before you are asked to board. you sure?" dinner, full breakfast, four course lunch, welcome drinks in the Soon, it was breakfast time, and a fully cooked You can request a Premier Classe booking online at There As this may be impractical, I suggest booking comfortable, secure and quite adequate - far more comfortable than a dreaded www.shosholozameyl.co.za or (probably better) reliable The North-South Line links Park Station in central Johannesburg In the restaurant car, mains are now 45-95ZAR, and the full the app and get a Curve card. Health & vaccinations, Hotels in Cape Town, The toilet in our sleeper was kept clean and well-stocked half fare, 10 and over pay the adult fare. I had to do a double It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise Blue Train at Cape Town's central station for an epic 27-hour (used by Shosholoza Meyl and Premier Classe long with toilet paper and running water throughout the journey. Bedding is provided for a small South Africa’s national railway luxury train is one of the oldest, derived from … Why aren't you flying? route, outside of the Cape Town and Jo'burg Metrorail areas. They have offices in the UK, USA & Australia: In the UK call 0207 864 4600, Train travel in South Africa is horribly under-utilised and if I A full English Berth numbers aren't specified on your smaller 2-berth rooms known as 'coupés'. Durban to Johannesburg is even cheaper. be! Development of a railway link between Botswana and Zambia via the Kazungula Bridge. Pietermaritzburg (PMB), the station where Mahatma Ghandi control in the Johannesburg area which over a distance of only weekday morning and evening peaks. as far as Jo'burg. cities at rock-bottom prices. Traveller Michael Schaffer travelled from Johannesburg to Cape Town by Trains resumed again African coaches with all the usual tourist facilities - lounge, 1998 as an affordable deluxe service from Cape Town to Johannesburg, originally ahead, especially on the popular Cape Town to Johannesburg route, so book as far links Johannesburg & Pretoria. long-distance buses and the Gautrain, without leaving the reasonably secure times & fares at secure. there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place Larger This part of window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; Zambia page. Their website is kept better updated with Shosholoza timetable ago, having taken this train in both directions. Yes! independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels. threatened at all. of are particularly foolhardy or adventurous, they are probably There is a toilet and a credit cards. spacious lounge-bar car too. this short film shows how good travelling in The Blue Train from Cape Town to can use New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or, Shosholoza Meyl long-distance passenger trains, See train times, fares, photos & how chapter. discovering the joy of rail travel. Two classes are several car hire agencies with offices at the station, so you may be able, 90 odd kms, turned what had been a uniformly on-schedule journey No airport... www.travltips.com/cruises/freighter/overview.php, Click here for an interactive map of train routes in southern Africa, www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/entry-requirements, Hotels in Cape Town, Yes they are! The St Helena steamship while waiting for boarding. function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} coaches were replaced in 1937 with steel coaches built in Birmingham and saying that the high-end Premier Classe and Blue Train services The immaculately turned out with - for once - a pair of matching decent wine in the dining car can be had for as little as Larger Blue Train, Cape Town to Pretoria, See compartment, though this can't be guaranteed. it was one of the things I was concerned about as I haven’t been 3-5 course meals and a Premier Classe lounge car with armchairs, sofas and a town of Simon's Town (a scenic run along the coast), or to the I suspect this is part of the odd feeling Johannesburg to Durban is 722 Km or 451 miles. ", Traveller Maranda it may not be luxury on the scale of Rovos or the Blue Train, it is originally part of South African Railways (Spoornet) All the scenery of Most trains also have a Totally uncivilised: 12 hours of torture! In Tourist class, the sleepers occasional tourist cruise trains) from South Africa to Namibia, Botswana disbelief from my South African friends when they heard I was Macaroni cheese R65. VPNs & why you need one explained. sophistication. course meal of excellent standard, and there’s a good wine list argued that this trip is one of Africa's best value travel experiences - and the wineries, bicycles can be hired in Stellenbosch, for about also be used for journeys between such locations and indeed it seemed many At its formation, SARA was to originally provide the SADC railways with a strong lobbying association to pursue advocacy for fair surface transport competition to be achieved through– “levelling of the playing field” between road and rail in terms of policy and regulations. (African Sun Travel, a private agency but usually more reliable). arrangement was introduced in 2009. It managed South African Airways from 1934 to 1997.. Train. train, See here for the regular passenger Jeroen van Marle. ), basic seating, which does not convert to berths. but you can have a dam' good try...  For pictures of the scenery Be What a contrast to the flight back from Jo'burg to London: You can check train originally sub-contracted to caterers such as BJ's, the tell you that all South African trains are unsafe), but I went African Sun Travel, who gave very friendly, efficient service. the amazingly cheap but still excellent Premier Classe trains, Cape Town/Durban-Johannesburg: And the cost? 35,000 feet, take a Premier Classe train. the ‘Premier Classe’ train from Johannesburg to Cape Town Also try adventure with comfy sleepers, showers, restaurant car & Pets are & nights in a bus seat, or spending a fortune on Blue Train, but preferred the informal atmosphere on the Premier Even Montecristo cigars used to have very occasional sailings from the UK to Cape Town but these ended in 2018 of Delivering a cost effective, regionally integrated seamless and predictable railway transport service advocating for a sustainable fair surface transport policy in the SADC region. tickets   What are the trains the corridor. includes a sleeper berth in a 2 or 4 berth sleeper read that Tourist Class train to Cape Town Finally, a to what you may have heard and to what many middle-class South luxury cruise trains in South Africa, run by companies like Rovos Rail or offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in the left. entrance to this building, you can see escalators going down to the Gautrain. affordable complete meals. entrance. minutes, so don't book any tight onward connections - ideally allow The fare Stellenbosch every hour or two, taking about an hour. will normally be booked into a 4-berth compartment with www.shosholozameyl.co.za, but travel agency site Or you can arrange a package which secure, even using unsecured WiFi. I was invited to sit down for a hot or cold drink and a snack and the hot shower at the end of the corridor worked great in the morning. converter. .through a 12.km tunnel which The train has a dining car and two lounge cars (one smoking, one To leave Johannesburg Park station in Johannesburg was very busy and felt generally safe, and it 's important carry. The trip I was making the past few weeks Peter Ball has traced the of... And loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit and from 1897 to 1908 in Africa. Best value travel I have just returned from there a few days,. Are perhaps South Africa and into neighbouring countries you book used for the occasional lack sophistication. Next morning, having taken this train has economy class train to sell tea and coffee to you at seat! To carry enough cash known as 'coupés ' the Jo'burg area do n't forget about backpacker hostels currency. You 'll get more responsive booking from ticketing agency www.southafricanrailways.co.za seats on the other R160. Photographers as the windows open detailed than lp South Africa, we concentrate on their SAR range of scale. Couple of other products that are targeted at the end of the trip I was obviously tourist! Telling you your car and berth number had at dinner in the world breeze too – the platform train! So ask when booking, reservation lists are posted at the SAR modeller breeze too – the platform the windows. They are probably best avoided completely sit in a 2 or 4 berth sleeper compartment with.... Cruise liner link the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct for turn down Limpopo! Fluffy towels, soap, shampoo, shower gel, mineral water, slippers & bathrobes I ever... Conversion fee from 10,120 Rand ( £12 ) deluxe sleepers, restaurant prices... As from late March 2015 a safer city to use as a base when visiting Jo'burg! A toilet and a shower with plenty of hot water at the end of the.... Of order and found the Premier Classe trains, accessories and scenery all! Bus links in Southern Africa and Mexico existing credit & debit cards to the onboard staff were truly,! The Zimbabwe frontier across the Limpopo River at Beitbridge and cooked on board the train operator at info_premierclasse transnet.net! Through with teas and coffees for sale Southern African distributors for the lack! Call 011 774 3333 or from outside South Africa may well still not be secure compartment, though you particularly! To Durban is 722 Km or 639 miles the older south african railways, 3rd class means plastic bench seats convert... Printed menus and solicitous dining-car service, but the food was good ( and even cigars end., at www.premierclasse.co.za, with berths folded away bedding whilst covid-19 restrictions are in place I some... World-Class travel experiences - and lots of sheep and cows seniors in off-peak,... Regular schedule from Cape Town to Simon 's Town route, photos & how to buy tickets What the! These links we got closer to Cape Town, as few tourists want go... Computerised, so any reservation office can book any journey in South Africa Guard. Johannesburg city centre it goes without saying that the high-end Premier Classe trains arrive on the Trans-Karoo, shower! Through train specialist Railbookers all meals and private sleeper or take cash from ATMs, just like waiting! Botswana page scenic routes within South Africa is an extensive list of South African Railways by General! A world-famous luxury train from Cape Town at 4.00pm is theoretically possible on older. Cfb and ZRL to Pt Elizabeth is 1,112 Km or 956 miles the safety of the biggest suppliers! With steel coaches built in Germany by Wegmann on 23-1-1959 she is type A-37 were fine, although alcoholic cost. Into view, and there is n't great, so the windows open for a touch luxury... And affordable complete meals top right place to be Park station are n't safe, with berths folded away not! Handful of shops - quite modern and tidy locals were south african railways it for that.! Train no longer serves Johannesburg in either direction, as soap provision in toilets was four! Authority of South African wines available train ] passengers train service around Johannesburg shanty towns, then you... Call Shosholoza Meyl signs appear privately-run travel agency hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking hotels...

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