The Blue Train Guests’ Frequently Asked Questions


What is the distance The Blue Train travels between Pretoria & Cape Town?

1660 km (904 miles)

How long is The Blue Train?

Long train – 399 metres; short train – 294 metres

How long has the train been in existence?

The Blue Train was launched and has been in existence since 1946

How many carriages (coaches) does the train have?

Long train – 19 carriages; short train – 14 carriages

Do you have a doctor on board?

Trained first aid personnel are on-board at all times. In the event of an emergency, doctors and emergency personnel can be contacted at the various stations en-route. Please note that The Blue Train personnel are not allowed to administer any medication to guests.

Can we open the windows?

For safety reasons, The Blue Train windows are double-glazed and cannot be opened. The Blue Train is fitted with a centrally-controlled air-conditioning system. All private suites are fitted with individually-controlled air-conditioning systems.

Are children allowed on board?

Children are allowed on board. Children aged 2 years and younger are to share a suite with parents or a responsible adult. No special meal menus are available for children. A strict Children Policy is applicable and must be signed by parents or guardians prior to boarding.

Who was the interior designer on the train?

The late American designer, David Barrett, who was the former president of the American society of interior decorators.

Does The Blue Train fare include gratuity?

The fare does not include gratuities. Our guests are not obliged to give the staff gratuities. However, should guests at their own discretion wish to do so, guests are encouraged not give gratuities to individuals, but to rather use the gratuity box located at the entrance of the club (smoking) car. 

Gratuities are then shared equally amongst all the staff (including the kitchen staff) at the end of each trip

How many crew members on board at every trip?
28 crew + 2 technicians

What currency is used in the boutique shop?
South African Rands (R)

What routes does The Blue Train do?
Standard route is Pretoria – cape town and vice-versa. On charters, Pretoria – Durban, Pretoria – Kruger; Pretoria – Sun City; Pretoria – Bloemfontein and anywhere else where there are rail networks that are compatible to the blue train’s technology.

The distance between Cape Town and Pretoria is just under one thousand miles and The Blue Train does the journey in roughly 27 hours.

How much water does The Blue Train hold?
Each coach – 5,000 litres; entire train – 85,000 litres

Is The Blue Train privately-owned?
No. The Blue Train is owned by Transnet, a state-owned company

Which famous people have travelled on The Blue Train?

The Blue Train VIP Guest Record

  • Former SA Presidents – Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki
  • Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu
  • SA President Cyril Ramaphosa
  • Imran Khan
  • Naomi Campbell
  • Quincy Jones
  • Mia Farrow
  • Sir Nigel Mansell
  • Paul Simon
  • Jonty & Kate Rhodes
  • John Corr
  • Earl & Lady Spencer)
  • Leo Sayer
  • Pieter Dirk Uys
  • Neil Young (From the band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
  • Sir Peter Ustinov
  • Sir Elton John
  • Danny Glover
  • Karin Barnard
  • Sir Tim Rice
  • Kylie Minogue

How many SA provinces does The Blue Train traverse from Pretoria to cape town or vice-versa?
Four Provinces – Gauteng, North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape.