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Interesting Trip

A group of us (260 people) used the whole train to travel to the It's Time Prayer Event in... read more

Reviewed yesterday
louiselategan
,
Durbanville, South Africa
Good idea, badly executed

We took the train from Cape Town to Johannesburg with our 5 kids aged between 8 and 17. The... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Riana R
via mobile
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Reviewed today via mobile

I enjoyed the most part of the trip, the views, even the dining cart with a limited menu but made the best of it & enjoyed a beer. I slept OK and the bed was fairly comfortable and I enjoyed a fairly decent shower in the morning. However, we were informed of a derailment and that it would be an hour late. That turned into over 5 hours and still counting, no explanation, lots of stops every few yards and long pauses, which isn't funny in the heat as there is no air con. There were far more staff than passengers on the train but no one to tell us what's going on. No apology or accountability. There were security, police and lots of waiting/service staff (who were lovely don't get me wrong) but seriously poor management of the train service, as I can see this is a regular occurrence.
I love travelling by train but won't be doing this again in SA, as a previous reviewer said, third world countries offer a better train service than this. Extremely poor.

Thank Salc71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday

A group of us (260 people) used the whole train to travel to the It's Time Prayer Event in Pretoria. We used the Economy Class option, which was basic. There are storage space under the bottom beds, as well as above the door. In each wagon there are 2 x 2 bed cabins and 5 x 4 bed cabins. Two Toilets and one shower per wagon. A wagon can sleep 24 people. When you decide to travel by train, you should really have the mindset of not being in a hurry. Do not use the train when you have little time to enjoy the scenery. It will be all up te each passenger whether the trip is memorable or a nightmare. All the staff onboard tried there best to keep all the passengers happy.

Tips to future travellers:

1. When the train pulls into a station, please close your window shutters. Local kids get ons each other's shoulders and steal from the cabins through the windows.

2. When you take a shower, open the window( while the train is running), you will ever in your life have such an awesome view.

3. Be friendly to the staff, remember, they are on the same train than you.

1  Thank louiselategan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

By far the worst train experience I have ever had, and that includes trains in India, China, The USA and South America

Slow slow slow

Decrepit trains
Awful food
Incompetent service

Stops every 10km for no reason

Arrived 3+ hours late in Capetown
Left Jo-Burg 40 mins late

Idiotic excuses

Get me off of this F-Ing rolling disaster

1  Thank Marc D G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Took the train from Durban to Johannesburg on Nov 4.
The beginning was not bad.
The staff members were kind and helpful.
But, it got bad to worse later.

It ran slowly at the beginning.
When it reached Pietermaritzburg, it was around 30 minutes after the midnight already 3 hours behind the schedule.
Then, I slept and got surprised as I got up.
Still it was around 1/4 of the journey while it was supposed to be at Johannesburg by 9:15.

Ladysmith around noon.
Finally, it terminated the service at New Castle, half of the journey, around 14:00.

They said busses are coming, and no idea when train can restart.

About 15:00 3 busses came for the rescue.

5 hours of the bus ride took me to the Johannesburg station around 20:00.

The station area is infamous for the risks of crimes in night.
I myself has troubles to find a safe way to move to my hotel.

In short, it was a series of disasters.

1  Thank W7927SH_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We took the Premier Classe train to Durban - the trip down arrived 5 hours late and the return trip ran 11 hours late
Problems with drivers , engines, communication. - so would advise people to stay away
Friendly staff on the train seem to be exasperated by the increasing breakdowns and complete inefficiency of management
The train compartments still have some of their former glory but all the shine is gone - another failure due to corruption and lack of interest

1  Thank grahamhaird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We took the train from Cape Town to Johannesburg with our 5 kids aged between 8 and 17. The compartments are good. No aircon though. It became quite hot during the numerous unplanned stops. We never got explained why the stops occurred. Eventually we were running 5 hours late and were asked to change over to a bus. Although we did not have to pay for the bus, it made us run significantly later to arrive to our destination. The food was o.k with a limited menu and a restaurant without aircon. The staff remained friendly but the service is shoddy. It is a shame the service is badly maintained as a train journey of this magnitude is a wonderfull way to see our country. It seems this happens all too often.

1  Thank Riana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2018

Please advise why the train that left Johannesburg, Parkstation, yesterday (07/10/2018) at 13h30 instead of 12h30 has still not arrived at Cape Town station? The train keeps stopping every 2 kms for hours. People now don't have drinks and food. Who is accountable to ensure people can receive refreshments and food, and ensure the train reaches its destination? It was supposed to be in CapeTown station at 15h30 today (08/10/2018) but it's still in the middle of nowhere.

4  Thank kgomotsoltd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2018 via mobile

We traveled down from Johannesburg to capetown on the train believing it was going to be part of the holiday, how wrong were we, we arrived 7am to load the car, hung around very dangerous station until our train was due to depart, however train delayed until after 3pm .
Upon getting into our cabin all looked ok until the evening rolled in, our neighbors we so drunk and offensive, train manager ( a lady) powerless to stop 4 drunk men shouting and screaming, I took offence at the fact they were offering my 15 year old son drugs.
Train management could not control the situation, then train broke down in the Karoo for hours, train lost power, so now we were stuck in cabin with no power, no lights, not Aircon, and offensive drunks.. train after 30 hours ran out of water, so totally dehydrated.. funny though they sell copious amounts of alcohol.. and no security on board. Arrived after 39 hours. Worst trip of our lives, and as tourists from overseas we were just looked at as though what’s your problem. Never again, avoid if possible.. not safe.

2  Thank dcummi193995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2018 via mobile

The train arrived 4 hours late. It stopped every 5 minutes very frustrating. They didn't start serving lunch until 3pm. There is real potential for a great train ride just needs decent management.

2  Thank th0mas15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2018 via mobile

We planned to take the train from jo'burg to PE and ordered the tickets long before. On the day we arrived there was a mess and nobody could tell us whether/when the train will depart. Eventually, we were taken by bus to Bloemfontein and then waited for few more hours till the train moved. It drove slowly and stopped in the middle of nowhere many time. Then it hit someone and we had to wait for few more hours. The train arrived PE 14 hours later than scheduled. Most of the time we couldn't get an estimation on when do we leave and when are we expected to arrive. I sent an email to the office where the tickets bought. I got no reply yet (3weeks later)
On the good side - the cabins are nice and clean, and so are the toilets. It felt very safe on the train. The staff on board were kind and tried to help, and even brought some food to all passengers when we were waiting for the police examination of the accident.
If you are in a hurry - don't consider it... otherwise, an experience

1  Thank Gilboa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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