Johannesburg-Cape Town

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Johannesburg-Cape Town

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:26 pm

The Travel Section of The Times has an article regarding a railroad operated overnight train (the "luxo" Blue Train is either privately operated or has been discontinued) that appears to provide a level of service that can reasonably be expected from Amtrak:

http://nytimes.com/2017/10/25/travel/so ... oweto.html

Fair Use:

I awoke sometime before dawn to the soft, rhythmic clacking of the train, pacing steadily through the heart of South Africa. Poking my face out of the window to take in a breath of cool, dry spring air, I could see stars behind the blue-black shadows of the passing trees. We were somewhere past Kimberley, the Northern Cape Province city where Cecil Rhodes had famously — or, rather, infamously — made a fortune mining diamonds more than a century ago. I remembered a conversation I had earlier that day with Hendrick Stander, an employee of the Shosholoza Meyl train I was riding from Johannesburg to Cape Town, who told me why he fell in love with train travel as a child: “I loved the click-clack, click-clack.”

My train journey between the two South African cities would take 26 hours and cover nearly 1,000 miles before reaching its terminus in Cape Town railway station on the coast. Besides tapping into a new found love of train travel, my trip on the Shosholoza Meyl Premier Classe provided the ultimate in affordable luxury: For 3,120 rand (plus a 75-rand booking fee, for a total of about $235), I had my own air-conditioned sleeper compartment, a shower and a proper dining car serving multicourse meals. And, of course, there were a multitude of vistas, from the grassy, steppe-like plateau in the heart of the country to the craggy Hex River Mountains in the southwest.


If the Paywall Police are on patrol, well all I can say is "sorry bout that".
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Re: Johannesburg-Cape Town

Postby johnthefireman » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:13 am

I've travelled fairly regularly on the Shosholoza Meyl Premier Class train in the last ten years or so. Last time was almost exactly a year ago, if I recall correctly. It's still a very enjoyable trip. The food isn't quite as luxurious as it was a few years ago, but still very acceptable. A great experience.
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Re: Johannesburg-Cape Town

Postby george matthews » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:39 am

I have travelled from Cape Town to Johannesburg at least once, on an ordinary train. It was in the 1970s, so under a quite different regime. I cannot remember much about the journey which seems to have been uneventful.
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Re: Johannesburg-Cape Town

Postby David Benton » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:21 am

Seems like a bargain at $ 235.
Can anyone confirm if the Blue Train still runs or not?
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Re: Johannesburg-Cape Town

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:24 am

David Benton wrote:Seems like a bargain at $ 235.
Can anyone confirm if the Blue Train still runs or not?


According the website The Man in Seat 61, yes, it does. Once or twice a week.
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Re: Johannesburg-Cape Town

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:44 am

Well, the Blue Train is there as a privately operated "Luxotrain":

http://www.bluetrain.co.za

With a one-way passage Praetoria-Cape Town for 2 @ ZAR 32800 (US $2350), it's a "better be good" moment.
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