Train Transfers To and From Cape Town Airport

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Cape Town International Airport Train Transfers

Cape Town International Airport is located in South Africa, approximately 20 km, or 12 miles from the city centre of Cape Town. This is the second largest airport in South Africa, with passenger numbers exceeding the 8 million per year mark, and is therefore also the third largest airport in Africa. In 2009, Cape Town Airport won the Skytrax award for the best airport in Africa. There are five terminal buildings making up the airport’s complex, as well as the newly constructed Central Terminal building which is now home to all the check-in desks at the airport, for international and domestic flights. Although a highly efficient airport, there are no rail connections at Cape Town Airport, and no train station on the airport site.

Passengers can travel by the MyCiTi Bus services to the Cape Town Civic Centre in the Central Business District. This is a new bus service, with regular connections to Cape Town Airport every twenty minutes. There is however no direct rail access to the airport. Future plans by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, or PRASA, may still include a rail link between the airport and Cape Town’s existing suburban rail network. This rail track will be approximately four kilometres, or 2.5 miles in length, and provide a whole new way of travelling to and from the airport for many passengers. However, with the main focus currently being on the completion of the Gautrain project in Gauteng, it is unlikely that Cape Town Airport will receive its new rail connection before 2011.

Although Cape Town Airport has no direct rail connection, travelling by train in the city is quite popular, and the local Metrorail services run between various destinations. There are also long-distance trains operated by the inter-city rail division of PRASA, known as the Shosholoza Meyl, and the luxury tourist-orientated Blue Train. The Metrorail trains and the long-distance rail services mainly terminate at the Cape Town Railway Station, which is the main railway station for the city of Cape Town. It is located along the streets of Adderley and Strand in the CBD, and is the hub of the Metrorail Western Cape commuter rail network. The railway station has been in use since 1961, and has undergone some recent improvements in light of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The developments have focused on safety and security at the station, as well as commuter comfort and improved station accessibility. Surrounding the station are numerous stalls and shops selling various items from snacks and sweets to fruit and cigarettes. There is also a coffee shop nearby, mobile phone technicians and many more useful stores and services.

The Metrorail consists of four lines, of which the most scenic is the journey through Muizenburg up to Simon’s Town. The train runs all the way up the coast, offering terrific views of the ocean. The train track is literally right next to the sea, and if you are lucky, you may even spot some whales. This Metrorail line is so close to the water that on windy days sea spray hits the windows of the train. For the best views, sit on the left-hand side of the coach as you make your way towards Simon’s Town. A tourist hop-on and hop-off ticket is available for this route, and allows passengers to get on and off the trains as they please for a whole day. There are many wonderful places to see in the areas along the train’s route. The other Metrorail lines include the Northern Line to Bellville, which then continues on to Paarl, Stellenbosch and Somerset West, the Cape Flats Line to Athlone and Retreat, as well as the Central Line, which takes you to Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha and Belleville.

Shosholoza Meyl is a network of inter-city trains operated by PRASA, and they travel to a variety of destinations in South Africa. A Premier Class train departs from Cape Town Train Station twice a week to the major city of Johannesburg. This train has a wide range of passenger coaches available, ranging from single-berth coupés and two-berth coupés to larger four-berth family compartments. The journey to Johannesburg takes approximately 25 hours, and passengers are spoiled with luxury amenities and a classy food and beverage schedule, including a full breakfast, four course luncheons and five course dinners. The Premier Classe trains are perfectly safe, with security guards at the stations and onboard the trains. All the sleeper compartments have locks which cannot be opened from the outside as well. The Shosholoza Trains also travel to the cities of Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and East London. Further information is available online, at

The Blue Train is a luxury train service which travels between Cape Town and Pretoria. It is a 27 hour journey through some of the most spectacular scenery on the African sub-continent, and is a train that has enjoyed the company of kings and presidents. It can be described as a magnificent moving five-star hotel, offering butler services and the most exquisite dinning opportunities. The Blue Train leaves Cape Town Railway Station at 08:50, and arrives at Pretoria Station around 12:30 the following day. The journey also includes a stop at Matjiesfontein, for an off-train excursion. More information about the Blue Train is available at

The city of Cape Town, and South Africa in general, has many exciting opportunities to offer foreign passengers arriving at Cape Town International Airport, and luxury train travel is just one of the many fascinating options.