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Started in the 1920s, the iconic Blue Train is almost a century old, having grown out of the Union Express and the Union Limited.Even back then they had card tables and ceiling fans and hot water, setting a trend for the future.The company also used to travel to Simonstown, but services have been interrupted by the Fish Hoek-Simonstown sand drifts obstructing the line.No longer a pretender to the throne once occupied for decades by the Blue Train, Rovos Rail was started by Rohan Vos as a small operation in 1986 that has since gotten worldwide recognition.It uses a Class 16DA steam locomotive built in 1929, and says its wooden-bodied vintage coaches date from 1922 to 1938.At least six trips have been lined up from the end of October through December.In the 1990s, the change was made from steam to diesel and electricity.



(Please note that the line between Fish Hoek and Simonstown, which skirts amazingly close to the sea, has been closed since July due to repeated sand drifts over the tracks, but is meant to open by January.) Tickets can be bought for R30 and R50 for one- or two-day passes, allowing passengers to get off and on at random stops along the way, including Observatory, Newlands, Kalk Bay, Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and finally (when it’s open again) Simonstown.The private non-profit operator Atlantic Rail has train trips that run from Cape Town out to various wine farms in the Stellenbosch area.


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