The Blue Train – South Africa Journey through Luxury Train

The Blue train will offer splendours, magnificence and luxurious onboard experience to its travellers. It is a premium train which covers a total distance of 1000 miles across South Africa from Pretoria to Cape Town. The blue train dates back to the 1920’s, coming from two separate trains, Union Limited and Union Express. In 1940, the 2 trains were united during the WWII, the train was named after the royal blues of the engines.

Blue Train

Why is the Blue Train famous?

The Blue train will give a new dimension to the luxury. It offers a journey to the South-Africa by personal attention and devotion to detail. The Blue train is unique from all the trains, as it combines the luxury of the 5-star hotel to the charm of train travel. It offers a view of South Africa’s spectacular landscapes and other interesting tourist attractions.

Train Accommodation

The Blue train provides offers accommodation in Deluxe cabins. It is decorated with marble tiles, finest bed linen and gold fittings. Per carriage contains 4 deluxe cabins, which contains either a double bed and a bath or twin bed and a shower. To provide the elegant lounge, beds will be folded at the end of the day, so that it provides an elegant and comfortable lounge. Fluffy white towels, cotton kimonos and a range of luxury oils and soaps make bathing an indulgent pleasure.

The Blue trains provide a 24 hours butler facility via the telephone in your cabin. It also provides other facilities like heated floors, individually controlled air-conditioners and en-suite bathrooms with first-class amenities and plush towels. Luxury suites contain few extra facilities like electronic entertainment, extra space and luxurious bathtubs. Luxury suits in the Blue train come up with Wi-Fi service, personal butler and many options like twin beds and double beds.

Blue Train Suite


Elegant Lounges

The Blue train had 2 lounges of Club lounge and main lounge. All the lounges are having the facility of air-conditioning systems. The Lounge car is the ideal place to relax after dinner with your coffee and to meet and chit chat with your fellow passengers. The club car contains a well-stocked bar, a big screen television and a library and it is also a great place for playing a game of cards or backgammon.

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The boutique sells a collection of Blue Train souvenirs and a beautiful South African jewellery. In the afternoon traditional English High Tea is served to the customers in the Lounge car. The Lounge car is located in the middle of the train and is well decorated with South Africa’s finest artists and flanked by large windows that frame the breathtaking scenery as you pass through constantly changing panoramas. The Club Car is an imposing panelled cigar lounge. The cigars are served after dinner and the club car offers cognac and other drinks.

Blue Train Lounge

Lounge at Blue Train

Explore More: Lounges of the Luxury Train

Cuisines and Dining

All the meals are prepared freshly by the executive chefs. To serve the gourmet cuisines, South African wines are carefully selected. In a single sitting, the dining car can cater 42 guests at a time. Flawless table linen, crystal glassware and the best Sheffield cutlery round off the service presented in silver. During the leisure time, full English breakfast or continental is served for the travellers. Formal dress code will be maintained for the dinner.

Cuisines Served at Blue Train

Cuisines Served at Blue Train

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In keeping with the classic atmosphere of the dining car, lunch is a casual affair, while dinner is formal and requires men to wear a jacket and a tie and an elegant evening dress for ladies. You can also wear traditional clothes for dinner. The Blue Train’s air-conditioned kitchen is a masterpiece of design and engineering. The Blue Train can meet most special pre-booked dietary requirements and can also prepare meals with Halaal ingredients. Halaal or kosher meals can be ordered from certified suppliers with two weeks notice.

Dining Car at Blue Train

Dining Car at Blue Train

Have a Look on luxury train restaurants

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Train Routes

There will be 2 routes for the Blue Train are:

1. Pretoria-Cape Town- Pretoria

The distance between Pretoria and Cape Town is 1,600 km and is a 27 hours journey. It offers the spectacular and diverse sceneries of the African sub-continent. During the Southbound trip, the train departs from Pretoria Station at 8:30 and reaches the Cape Town at 15:00 the following day. You can step back to the time of the diamond rush, to the excursion in Kimberley while en-routing to Cape Town.

During the Northbound journey, the train departs from Cape Town at 8:30 and reaches the Pretoria at 15:00. Lord Milner Hotel in Matjiesfontein is an off-the-train excursion stop. Upon arrival in Matjiesfontein, guests are invited to enjoy a glass of sherry at the bar. Victorian buildings and London street lamps of the 19th century give the traveller the strange feeling of entering a chain of the colonial era – an oasis suspended in another era.

It is recommended to reach the departure stations an hour prior to avoid any rush.

Pretoria Station

Pretoria Station

2. Pretoria-Hoedspruit-Pretoria

South Africa is well known for many things like Robben Island, Table Mountain, Kruger National Park and many more. The Blue train usually travels to and fro from Cape Town to Pretoria on weekly basis, to visit the South Africa iconic site, Kruger National park which is located in Hoedspruit area is a new route being added.

According to the 2016 schedule, Kruger National park is made available on charter. The list will be updated annually.The blue train will depart from Pretoria and stop at Hoedspruit Station, where guests will then be transferred to their favorite lodges in and around Kruger National Park, according to routes chosen by their tour operator.

Pretoria to Hoedspruit

General Information about the Blue Train

1. Is smoking allowed onboard the train?

Smoking is permitted only in the club car.

2. Looking for a pre and post-Blue Train safari?

The ultimate safari experience search is simplified with the luxury safari club. For experiencing the wildlife the same concierge approach is applied for the Blue Train Fact Sheet.

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Why is this 31-hour train trip one of the best ways to discover South Africa?

Travelling in Blue Train is all about experiencing luxury in a journey. During the 31-hours train journey, you can experience national parks, vineyards, charming cities and towns of South Africa. Facilities like opulent suites, 24-hours butler service, club lounges and many more, make you feel like stepping inside a 5-star hotel.

The large windows in the train’s observation car provide an opportunity to view lush valleys, mountain terrain and vineyards. High profile passengers like Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher had boarded the Blue Train. The local special dishes like venison, ostrich, Karoo lamb and oyster fresh from Knysna will be served for the passengers. The fully carpeted and soundproof suits in the train can be converted from a living room to the bedroom.

What is the difference between Blue Train and Palace on Wheels?


S.NO The Blue Train Palace on Wheels
 1. It covers a total distance of 1,600 km from Pretoria to Cape Town. It is a 7 nights and 8 days itinerary which travels from New Delhi and covers the places like Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur, Agra and reaches the New Delhi again.
 2. It contains a power car, Baggage van, Personnel car, Lounge cars, Club car, Kitchen, Luxury and De Luxe accommodation coaches. It contains two types of cabins such as Super Deluxe and Deluxe cabins.
 3. Its compartments are soundproofed and gold-tinted picture windows. Its compartments are not soundproofed.
 4. It is operated by Luxrail. It is operated by Indian Railways.
 5. It contains 2 trains, in which 1st train can accommodate 74 guests in 37 suites, whereas the 2nd train can accommodate 58 guests in 29 suites. It contains a total of 23 coaches and can accommodate 82 tourists at a time.

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