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International Railroad Discussion > South Africa Blue Train to Resume Service
Date: 09/27/20 06:05
South Africa Blue Train to Resume Service
According to the South Africa business publication "SA Business Insider" the luxury Blue Train will resume service November 1 with prices cut in half to March 1. The trains' normal route is Cape Town to Pretoria (or whatever the locals call it now). The article mentions that train will include full silver service dining and alcohol beverages. So no "enhanced dining" there! There was no mention of mask or social distancing requirements. This is welcome news but a bit surprising as SA had some of the most severe virus lock down restrictions of any country. SA nationals were prohibited from returning to their own country....even to visit family members. As the Blue Train caters mostly to foreign tourists, one wonders where the business will come from. Based on my one experience on the train there seemed to be more South African's on board than it's competitor Rovos Rail which caters almost exclusively to foreign tourists. No mention in the article when Rovos plans to re-open. Putting quarantine restrictions aside, this does show that a service such as the Blue Train...which is largely a social expedience like the Canadian can run. The schedule was lengthened out to two nights awhile ago so anyone in a rush to would most certainly fly. Also unlike the Canadian, there are no sit up coaches and I believe there is only one intermediate stop (Kimberley) where passengers can join or leave the train..
Hopefully this will pave the way to for other similar trains to resume operations.