• Rovos Rail - South Africa

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of Canada and the United States.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Jeff Smith
https://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2023/ ... ury-train/
Riding the rails with Rovos Rail - Africa's most luxurious train

With a hiss and a screech, the locomotive, complete with suites, lounges and dining cars, starts to move and we are on our way.

From the minute we’d arrived at the railway station in Cape Town we’d known we were in for a treat. Our bags were whisked away, and transferred to the wood paneled, deluxe suite that was to be ours on the journey.

We, meanwhile, were ushered into a private lounge area, and plied with sparkling wine and canapés as a violinist serenaded us. Once all our fellow passengers had assembled, and were comfortably seated around the room, we were welcomed by Rohan Vos, the man behind the family owned Rovos Rail, and the man responsible for developing it into what it is today – the most luxurious train in Africa, indeed one of the most luxurious in the world – The Pride of Africa.
  by johnthefireman
Rovos Rail is indeed an impressive operation. I was privileged to do part of my training as a main line steam locomotive fireman on Rovos Rail twenty years ago, when they still used steam locos for parts of the journey. I belonged to a volunteer heritage preservation group, Friends of the Rail, which was at that time based in the same Pretoria depot as Rovos, and the Spoornet (national rail company) inspector who would ultimately certify footplate crew insisted that we train on the heavy Rovos trains (often as much as 22 coaches, around a thousand tons, double-headed by a pair of 19D locomotives) on the long uphill stretch from Pretoria to Centurion, rather than on the much lighter trains operated by FOTR. After qualifying, I had the opportunity to work Rovos trains from time to time when they were short-staffed, both on the main line and on depot shunting duties, and thus I fired the 25NC and GMAM classes as well as the 19D. I was once given a guided tour of the inside of the luxury train, but generally we were not encouraged to venture inside with our coal-dirty boots!

The "Pride of Africa" indeed, although I've often wondered who actually owns the copyright to that name, as it is shared by Kenya Airways!