When you choose to travel on The Blue Train, you choose to travel in a world of grace, elegance and romance.
In ensuring that your experience is as reliable and sound as it is luxurious, safety and technical excellence are of paramount importance on The Blue Train.
Locomotion – Our luxurious journeys are made possible by two Blue Train sets. The first train accommodates 74 guests in 37 suites. 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 90 kilometres per hour (58,2 mph). Both are 336 metres (433 yards) long and consist of 17 & 16 carriages respectively, 10 & 8 of which are for the use of the guests. The weight of each train is approximately 825 metric tons, excluding the locomotives.
They each carry 31 000 litres (6820 gallons) of water. Two diesel-powered generators – one of which is always on standby – are used to supply The Blue Train’s demanding power requirements.
Destination – The routes of The Blue Train – both scheduled and chartered – take guests through some of the most breathtaking countryside to be found anywhere in the world.
Cape Town – Pretoria: The route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 27-hour journey of 1 600 kilometres (994 miles), through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent.
On the Southbound trip, the train departs from Pretoria main train sation at 8:50 and arrives in Cape Town train station at 12:00 the following day. En route to Cape Town there is a stopover and excursion in Kimberley, where we take a step back in time to the days of the diamond rush.
On the Northbound journey, the train leaves Cape Town at 08:50 and arrives in Pretoria at 12:30, in time for high tea the following day. It stops at Matjiesfontein for an off-the-train excursion. On arrival at Matjiesfontein guests are invited for a glass of sherry at the bar. The Victorian buildings and original nineteenth century London lampposts impart to the traveller, the uncanny sense of entering a colonial time warp – an oasis suspended in a different age. Guests are reminded that they must be at the station an hour before the departure time.
The Train – 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. All the public cars are fitted with gas-filled air-conditioning systems. A standard internal temperature of between 20 to 21°C (70 to 72°F) is maintained throughout the journey. For the comfort of guests, each suite has individual temperature controls which range from 18 to 24°C (65 to 77°F). These systems are water-cooled and each suite has its own fresh air intake. During cold periods, all systems are provided with heating cycles from the air-conditioning units, as well as under-floor heating. Heating systems have been fitted under the marble tiles of most of the bathrooms.
Each suite has its own bathroom with either a shower or bath. There are two luxury coaches which both have three suites with bathrooms fitted with tubs. The other nine De Luxe coaches have four suites per coach. One of the four suites has a bathroom with a bath, while the other three have showers. The suites on The Blue Train live up to its reputation for magnificence and splendour. The finest bed linen, marble tiles and gold fittings in the bathrooms and sheer opulence all ensure that guests will never forget the time they spend on The Blue Train. The beds have been custom-designed for The Blue Train. A butler pulls them out, already made, from a space in the suite wall, converting the lounge into a comfortable bedroom. White cotton sheets and down duvets are the standard linen throughout the train. Ten of the suites feature double beds on the first train, while there are nine on the second. The luxury suites have hi-fi, audio CD and VHS video systems.
The dining car provides seating for 42 people. There are two sittings for lunch and dinner. Lunch is smart-casual, dinner is jacket and tie for the men and elegant wear for the ladies, while breakfast is casual.
Each of The Blue Trains has two lounges: the main lounge car in which high tea is served each afternoon, and the club car where guests can relax over a post-prandial cognac. The club car is the only public area available for smoking.