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Durban to Johannesburg train

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Tucson,AZ
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Durban to Johannesburg train

Has anyone taken the "premier" class train from Durban to Johannesburg ? We're 2 families of 4 each in Durban for 3 days for a WC match in June 2010. Then, we need to catch a flight out of JNB for Victoria Falls. Trying to determine whether the cheaper train tickets for an overnight sleeeper from DUR-JNB will be worth it when compared to one way flights. Can you actually "sleep" on the train ? How's the food, etc ?

Thanks,

Dave

Howick, South Africa
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781 posts
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1. Re: Durban to Johannesburg train

Hi Dave,

I've not used the Premier Class but have used the Shosholoza Meyl tourist class - and I went to Cape Town and not JHB.

It's an excellent way of traversing South Africa and, yes, you can easily get to sleep. The beds are very comfortable and the motion of the train helps rock you to sleep.

The food (on Shosholoza) is very good albeit of the fast food type of menu, and not a huge selection (expected really if you see the size of the kitchen!)

Premier Class is one step up from Shosholoza so you'd expect a bit more comfort and food choice. Friends of mine used it from JHB to Cape Town and were very impressed.

The station's lounges at either end are specifically for Premier Class passengers, but I would suggest that you get some extra advice about actually getting to and leaving the stations as they'r both used for "urban commuters" (if you get my meaning.)

Have a look at the web site below as I do my bookings through them as the Premier Class's (and Shosholoza Meyl's) are a bit convoluted.

Santie Bekker (at the email address) is a very helpful and knowledgable person for SA rail travel and can help with travel logistics to/from the stations.

info@satravelbooking.co.za

www.satravelbooking.co.za

Cape Town
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for Cape Town
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2. Re: Durban to Johannesburg train

Hi,

I have just travelled on the Premier Classe train from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It is a very relaxing way of getting to your destination. The beds are very comfortable, the toilets were clean and the food is excellent (3 course fixed meal) and dinner/lunch is served at a fixed time. There is a lounge car where you can buy drinks.

The train is often late (4 hours on this occasion due to mechanical problems).

There is airconditioning and heating.

The train from Durban to Johannesburg runs on Wednesdays and Sundays, departs at 17.30 and is scheduled to arrive at 06.25. Take a look at www.premierclasse.co.za.

Tucson,AZ
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33 posts
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3. Re: Durban to Johannesburg train

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to reply to my inquiry. You've offered assurance that it's a pleasant experience (ie. safe, decent food, able to actually sleep). Neither the 4 adults nor the 4 kids have ever taken an overnight train before & I think it would be a good experience for all. BUT I'm a little worried about the comment regarding timeliness. If this is a consistent concern, then I think we'll have to go with the more expensive flight option. If the train is scheduled to arrive @ 0630, that leaves plenty of time to get to OR Tambo for a 1125 flight to Vic Falls on BA, but not if it's 4 hours late. I'll reply to an earlier email to the Premier Class train representative to see if they can provide any info regarding "on time" percentages for the DUR-JNB route. The airlines have this info, so I'm sure they do as well.

Thanks again, Dave

Cape Town
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for Cape Town
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4. Re: Durban to Johannesburg train

Hi Dave,

On the previous two occasions that I travelled with this train, it was two hours late the first time and on time on the second. However, it is really a pleasant experience.

5. Re: Durban to Johannesburg train

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