U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-20-2013, 12:59 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
Reputation: 9478

Advertisements

South Africa seems to have an extensive train system throughout the country. Anyone take it? Is it reliable, popular, frequent, etc.? Can you take it into some of it's neighboring countries easily enough?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-20-2013, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,231,932 times
Reputation: 36087
This looks like a very useful and informative website, no BS:

Train travel in South Africa | Cape Town-Johannesburg from R580/45/$71 with sleeper

It appears that train travel is limited pretty much to one train a day connecting Cape Town, Joburg, Pretoria and Durban.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2013, 08:57 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
Reputation: 11862
I would love to take the Cape Town to Jo'burg train one day. The scenery would be amazing and you're bound to see some wildlife.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2013, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,503,405 times
Reputation: 15950
Until the 1980's, South Africa still moved a large portion of its freight and passenger traffic using steam locomotives, and those mechanical critters were somewhat more akin to the "late model" stuff endeared and missed by North American "railfans" than what was left in India, China and a few other nations. South Africa Railways tried to promote this for tourism purpsoes in hobbyist magazines in the First World, to the accompaniment of the usual controversy.

At the time, the plan called for prolonging the service of the displaced main-line steam power by downgrading and transferring it to the local and commuter passenger trains that still served Cape Town and Johannesburg. But the development of bus and jitney services by African entrepreneurs made the point moot. Free enterprise at work again!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2013, 12:44 AM
 
5,239 posts, read 6,760,088 times
Reputation: 11326
Then Trimac20, when you win the lotto you can take the expensive road on this train. Of course I know you'd want to take some of your CD pals along, wouldn't ya.

Luxury Train Tours | Life On Board | Rovos Rail | Rovos
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2013, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,503,405 times
Reputation: 15950
America and Canada are unique in the sense that only those two nations have opted to preserve "traditional" long-distance passenger rail service (Europeans travel shorter distances, and the service is de facto boosted by high taxes on gasoline) as "middle class welfare" via public agencies such as Amtrak and Canada's VIA. In contrast, Mexico's long-dominant Instititutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), recognizing that an overwhelmingly young and cost-conscious public would opt for buses and planes, abolished long-distance service with one stroke of a pen about fifteen years ago, save for a tourist attraction in the Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon). I suspect that similar thinking applied in South Africa.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 01-22-2013 at 01:37 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2013, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,231,932 times
Reputation: 36087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I would love to take the Cape Town to Jo'burg train one day. The scenery would be amazing and you're bound to see some wildlife.
Actually, you will not see any more wildlife than you would see driving across Texas. I hitchhiked from Joburg to Cape Town, and even up to Windhoek, and saw no wildlife at all. Outside the game preserves in Africa, very little wildlife is seen. I saw a few gazelles on the train in Tanzania, a hippo in the restaurant parking lot in Burundi, a few giraffes and ostriches along the road in Kenya, but one just doesn't see wildlife in unprotected places in Africa.

From Cape Town to Bloemfontein, the scenery is far from amazing. Again, West Texas comes to mind. That's all on Google streetview, you can travel it and see for yourself.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=south...,84.18,,0,8.92

Last edited by jtur88; 01-22-2013 at 09:43 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2013, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
Reputation: 9478
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Actually, you will not see any more wildlife than you would see driving across Texas. I hitchhiked from Joburg to Cape Town, and even up to Windhoek, and saw no wildlife at all. Outside the game preserves in Africa, very little wildlife is seen.
Interesting. I wonder if Kenya/Tanzania is similar.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-23-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,231,932 times
Reputation: 36087
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Interesting. I wonder if Kenya/Tanzania is similar.
I did see giraffes and ostriches on the drive from Nairobi down to Moshe and Arusha, and probably a few other species that I do not recall after so many years. But I don't remember seeing anything in any other part of East Africa. There is a reason why the game parks exist -- to maintain a habitat that is suitable for the animals, while the surrounding lands have been altered by human activity and the wildlife killed off. Just as you can drive all the way from Chicago to Yellowstone, without seeing a bear or a buffalo. I've traveled from Colombia to southern Chile and up to the hump of Brazil by bus, and can't recall seeing a single animal out the window.

The fact is, I have seen more natural wildlife in my life per mile on the open road in the USA than in any other country in the world. Birdwatching in southeast Asia, diligently birding rural locations almost everyday, I saw only about 50 species of birds in two weeks in Taiwan and South Korea, and 70 in Indonesia in two months. But I have seen more than that in a single day doing a south Texas Christmas bird count. Camping out in the USA, I often see 20-30 species of birds before breakfast.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2013, 11:28 PM
 
1,446 posts, read 4,054,278 times
Reputation: 966
Isn't there a plan in place for a high-speed rail system funded by China?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > World Forums > Africa
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top