The Blue Train

Luxury cabin on the Blue Train

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About The Blue Train

The Blue Train has an aura of mystique about it. Kings and presidents have travelled on this magnificent moving five-star hotel. Its very name has become synonymous with the ultimate in luxury and personal service.

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.

All the suites, and every public area, are fitted with constantly monitored smoke detection systems. Two highly qualified technicians are always on board, and the trains are thoroughly serviced at the Pretoria depot after every return trip.

The Blue Trains suspension, braking, lighting and under-floor heating systems have been designed and customised with our guests' comfort as the primary consideration, allowing them to savour the experience of a smooth, pleasurable ride.

Every modern convenience, including a telephone service and a choice of digital entertainment channels, serves to make the journey all the more memorable.
Download The Blue Train Brochure (Note: pdf document of 6.7MB) or a slide-show about The Blue Train (Microsoft Power Point file of 3.4MB) for more information.

The trains

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 Trains 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’oeuvre remain at optimum temperatures.

Luxury Experience

Temperature control
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 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.
Guests on The Blue Train receive special branded gifts at the end of the journey.


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 postprandial cognac. The club car is the only public area available for smoking.


There is a first-aid worker on board and contingency medical plans have been put into place should an emergency arise. There are also doctors on standby en route.


Fax facilities are available in the train manager's office. There are also facilities for mailing letters, as well as stamps and The Blue Train postcards.
A camera mounted on the front of both trains gives guests a driver's-eye-view of the scenery ahead. The unfolding journey is shown on a TV screen in the club car and on one of the TV channels so guests can view it in their suites.
Each suite is also equipped with a cellular communication telephone which can be used for phone calls and to reach train staff.
The Blue Train has a central intercom system which is used for making relevant announcements.

Staff at your service

On each journey, a team of highly qualified and specially trained hospitality staff run The Blue Train. These include, train manager, rooms division supervisor, restaurant supervisor, executive chef, sous chef, butlers, waiters/barmen as well as kitchen staff.

The History of the Blue Train

The Blue Train, for decades one of the world's most renowned passenger trains, owes its origins to the Union Limited and the Union Express, which - from 1923 - linked Johannesburg with the mailships departing from Cape Town for England.

Ordinary coaches were used until 1927, when articulated saloons were imported. The two Union trains travelled the distance in 30 hours and introduced a new standard of luxury.

In July 1937 it was announced that twelve air-conditioned, all-steel sleeping coaches had been ordered from the Birmingham firm of Metro-Cammell at a cost of some R19 000 each. A later order called for all-steel lounge coaches and dining cars, kitchen-cars and a baggage van.
The coaches were delivered at the start of the Second World War, but the service was suspended in 1942 and was only resumed in February 1946, from which year it formally bore the name "Blue Train". During this period it was used for a few State journeys.

In 1997 a new Blue Train was introduced and its traditional route between Cape Town and Pretoria was extended northwards to the Victoria Falls. In the following year, a second identical train came into service, allowing the Blue Train to add to its destinations Hoedspruit on the western edge of the Kruger National Park, and Port Elizabeth at the eastern end of South Africa's Garden Route.


Rooms Available

Deluxe cabin double bed on Blue Train

De Luxe Suite

Twin beds or Double beds
8m2 of space

De Luxe Suites measure 8m2 of space and offer twin beds or double beds with either a three-quarter sized bath or a shower in each suite. The same suite is a lounge area by day which is converted into a comfortable bedroom during the night.

Luxury  cabin honeymoon on Blue Train

Luxury Suite

Twin beds or Double beds
10.26m2 of space

Luxury suites are the premier suites and measure 10.26m2 of space and offer twin beds or double beds with either a full-sized bath or a shower in each suite. The same suite is also a lounge area by day and is converted into a comfortable bedroom during the night.

See Latest Luxury Train Specials
  • Cape Town - Pretoria (or vice versa)
  • 2 nights
  • Blue Train
  • from:
  • from: R 16 550
  • Kimberley
  • All meals included


Day Stations Arrival Departure
1 Pretoria Station --- 14H00
2 Kymberley Station 14H00 18H30
3 Pretoria Station 12H00 ---

About the Cape Town - Pretoria Route

The Blue Train route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a two night journey of 1600 kilometres (994 miles), through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent, including an off-train excursion in Kimberley for a visit to the "Big Hole" and Diamond Mine Museum. Click here for Detailed Blue Train Pretoria - Cape Town - Pretoria Itinerary.

  • Pretoria - Kruger Park return
  • 2 nights
  • Blue Train
  • from: N/A
  • from: N/A
  • Numbi gate
  • All Inclsusive


Day Stations Arrival Departure
1 Pretoria Station --- 13H00
2 Numbi Train Station 05H00 23H00
3 Pretoria Station 10H00 ---

About the Pretoria - Kruger National Park Route

The Kruger National Park is in the top three destinations that visitors want to see while on holiday in South Africa. It is one of Africa’s largest game reserves covering an area of 19,633 square Kilometres (7,580 sq miles) between the two provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern part of South Africa. The Kruger National Park houses Africa’s Big Five : Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo and other numerous unique wildlife.

Select your departure

Departures and Routes

Deluxe Suite on the Blue Train
2 nights R 40 310 pps

Pretoria to Cape Town Deluxe Suites

Normal Inclusions apply on this 2 night/ 3 day Blue Train Experience.
Train Departs Pretoria at 12 Noon and gets into Cape Town 3 days later at 6 pm

Valid: 10 Oct 2022 to 15 November 2022

Deluxe Suite with Twin beds
2 nights R 40 310 pps

Cape Town to Pretoria Deluxe Suites

Normal Inclusions apply on this 2 night Blue Train Experience.
Train Departs Cape Town at 12 Noon and gets into Pretoria 3 days later at 6 pm

Valid: 10 Oct 2022 to 15 November 2022


Frquently Asked Questions

If you don't see your answer here, please do not hesitate to contact us for more details.

Gratuities are not included in your rate and is at your own discretion. If you wish to show your appreciation in this manner, there is an envelope in your suite that you can insert into a box at the end of your journey. The gratuities will be evenly distributed amongst all the staff on board. A suggested amount would be between R100.00 – R200.00.

Upon receipt of your online enquiry, we will confirm availability via email. The email will contain the reservation form which can be completed and emailed/faxed back to us. We will then confirm (in writing) your selected suite and departure date via confirmation invoice. Upon receipt of a 25% deposit, your reservation will be confirmed. Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure.


Please enquire about the latest cancellation information as the Covid19 pandemic may affect the below terms.

Cancellations received more than 60 days prior to departure date are subject to a cancellation fee of 25% of the ticket price per individual booking or group bookings.
Cancellations received less than 60 days prior to departure are subject to a cancellation fee of 80% of the ticket price per guest.
Once a ticket has been purchased, a reservation may be changed for a departure at an earlier or later date without a cancellation penalty being imposed. However should there be a rate difference, the client would be requested to pay the difference immediately. Should the rate difference be in favour of the guest, no money will be refunded and the guest will be informed accordingly.
If an amendment, cancellation or no-show is caused by an illness and verified by a registered doctor’s letter, we will consider waiving all or part of the cancellation fee according to the merits of each case with a maximum refund amount of 90% of the actual money received.

Non-compliance with these booking conditions will automatically cancel a provisional reservation without further notice.

Pretoria to Cape Town: The Blue Train departs at 16h00 and arrives in Cape Town at 10h30. Check in opens 2 hours prior to departure.

Cape Town to Pretoria: The Blue Train departs at 16h00 and arrives in Pretoria at 10h30. Check in opens 2 hours prior to departure.

Pretoria to Hoedspruit: The Blue Train departs at 15h00 and arrives at its destination the following day at 10h00. Check in opens 1 hour prior to departure.

Hoedspruit to Pretoria: The Blue Train departs at 15h00 and arrives at its destination the following day at 10h00. Check in opens 1 hour prior to departure.

Only South African Rands are accepted. All major credit cards can also be used on the train.

Whilst the nature of this type of trip is not really suited to young children, The Blue Train welcomes children of all ages

Children 5 years and younger sharing a suite with their parents travel free-of-charge (maximum of two children per suite).
Children between 6 and 11 years old occupy a separate suite and pay 50% of the adult rate per person sharing.
Should a child between 6 and 11 years old occupy a suite as a single occupant, they pay 50% of the adult rate – including the supplement.
Children 12 years and older pay the full adultrate per person sharing and will be accommodated in a separate suite.

Please contact us for the full child policy terms & conditions.

Unfortunately no special meals are available for children and / or infants on the train.