The Blue Train, South Africa’s “Blue Jewel” has undergone various upgrades which are sure to continue to set it apart from its competitors. These upgrades include soft refurbishments of the train’s interiors, upgrading its technology as well as all its critical safety components.
“The Blue Train has been the market leader in luxury rail travel and winning the coveted World’s Leading Luxury Train and Africa’s Leading Luxury Train for consecutive years of 2009 to 2011 and 2009 to 2012 respectively at the World Travel Awards, is testament to this. Technology is an ever-evolving façade and it is critical for The Blue Train brand, as a market-leader to stay abreast of these new technological advancements for the benefit of our valued guests,” comments Hanlie Kotze, The Blue Train’s Executive Manager.
Some of the upgrades include:
Safety critical components on the exterior and interior of the train; which have been upgraded with the latest technology. These include the braking system, air-cushion suspension system, fire and smoke detectors.
The interior includes the refurbishment of the décor, reupholstering the furniture, and re-carpeting of the entire train. The on-board personnel are always away from home for a minimum of 3½- days a week and to make their stay away from home even more comfortable, their staff coach has also been refurbished and fitted with an entertainment system for recreational purposes.
For the guests’ viewing and listening pleasure, the train’s on-board entertainment system has been upgraded to be more interactive and allows guests to choose from a wider variety of movies and music on offer. Guests can now rewind, pause and skip from one movie to the next - an option that was not available before as the movies were automatically programmed.
Other technological advancements include:
The driver’s eye view camera that has been upgraded and can still be viewed in guests’ suites and the Club Car (smoking lounge); the train is now equipped with Wi-Fi throughout – which is available to guests free of charge; new and improved butler mobile phones have been secured to enable effective communication with the guests and easy availability.
The exterior of the train has been repainted for a new look and feel.
“All these upgrades are not only for the betterment of The Blue Train brand, but for enjoyment by all our guests. We get one opportunity to make a good and lasting impression to all our visitors so that they never forget us and recommend us to friends and family members the world over, as they subconsciously become our brand ambassadors.
There are other developments that are still underway, such as the re-design and development of a new website and reservations system, the fitment of an improved GPS system that will not only indicate the areas the train traverses but will also inform the guests via text and video of these areas. These upgrades would take approximately six months to complete. So watch this space!” concludes an obviously elated Kotze.