The Blue Train
The Blue Train has been carrying passengers in style and utmost comfort since 1946. The Train offers a unique way of travelling to and from the wonders of Cape Town (the most famous route being Pretoria to Cape Town, and vice versa), although you can also travel to Durban, as there are other routes in offer in any given season.
Your luxury train journey is made in one of two sets of rolling stock. The first train accommodates 74 guests in 37 suites, whilst the second accommodates 58 guests in 29 suites and features a conference or observation car at the back of the train.
The trains travel at a speed of some 90 kilometres per hour (58,2 mph). Both are 336 metres (433 yards) long and are made up of 17 and 16 carriages respectively. There are two diesel-powered generators - one of which is always on standby – which are used to supply The Blue Train's demanding power requirements.
The kitchen car is a masterpiece of stainless-steel design. The fully air-conditioned car features walk-in cool rooms and freezers, ensuring that wines and hors d'oeuvres remain at optimum temperatures.
You are accommodated in luxurious accommodation whilst aboard the Blue Train – your suite is transformed from an elegant and spacious lounge by day, to a comfortable bedroom at night.
The De Lux suite offers you a choice between twin beds (with shower) or double beds (with bath). Luxury suites are more spacious and offer twin or double beds with bath facilities.
All suites on board The Blue Train are equipped with a writing desk, positioned next to the window. Each suite enjoys an individually controlled air-conditioning system and a private entertainment centre with a choice of movie channels and radio stations.
The Luxury Suite takes the choice even further, with an inviting selection of compact disks and movies on video and DVD. You might also choose to tune into the driver’s-eye camera, to watch the progress of the train.
To ensure that your stay is truly comfortable and personalised, there is an around-the-clock personal Butler service.
The Blue Train is justly proud of its tradition of fine dining and the gourmet cuisine is complemented by the carefully selected, best South African wines. All meals are freshly prepared on board the train by Executive Chefs.
The dining car accommodated 42 guests, in a comfort and style. Lunch tends to be a casual affair, but you dinner is in keeping with the elegance of a bygone era, and is far more formal.
Gentlemen are requested to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies can indulge in some elegant evening wear. The warm ambience of the lounge car, with its large windows, allows for excellent panoramic views of the passing countryside. You can enjoy high tea in the warm surroundings of the lounge car or perhaps meet for a pre-dinner drink.
You might also wish to make use of the Club Car – which is more in keeping with the relaxing ambience of a gentleman’s pub. The Club Car offers impeccable service with its card tables, a small library and a fully-equipped bar. Here you can also see a short film about the areas which the train is passing. After dinner guests you might even wish to enjoy a Cuban cigar before they retire to their suites.
The Classic route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 27-hour journey through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery in Southern Africa. The Southbound route includes off-the train excursions to the diamond town of Kimberley where one can explore the Big Hole and the Diamond Museum. Northbound, you have the chance to visit the historical town of Matjiesfontein where the Victorian buildings and original nineteenth century London lampposts allow you to enjoy what might best be described as a Colonial time warp!
The Blue Train has been award and number of accolades over the years, and continues to do so… a testimony to the dedication of the staff of this iconic Train.