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Steam Train to Elgin - Observation Car Seating

Cape Town

Activity Description

Ceres Rail Company offers a magnificent return trip to the Elgin Railway Market aboard our historic passenger train. Our train is usually hauled by a heritage steam locomotive and a diesel, but at times, due to the fire risk and other events beyond our control, the trip may be hauled by two diesel locomotives.

The journey begins at 07h45 from the platform at Harbour Bridge Hotel and Suites, Dockrail Road, Foreshore, Cape Town. Once aboard you will enjoy a 3-hour rail experience to Elgin, traveling through the beautiful Cape, up the majestic Sir Lowrys Pass, and then down into the Elgin Valley. We have a fully licensed cash bar on board as well as a dining car providing coffee and other snacks. Various books and memorabilia are also available for purchase onboard. We also have a card machine to make life easier.

Our destination is the fabulous Art Deco & Art Nouveau inspired Elgin Railway Market ( where you will spend a few hours at your leisure. At the market, whilst enjoying the live music, you can wander through the many stalls offering delicious food, a wide selection of local wines, ciders and gin. Various bespoke craft stalls selling a wide range of goods including jewellery, leather goods, wire art, etc are also on site. There is a wonderful play area outside for the children to enjoy too.
We depart from Elgin at 14h15 , arriving back Cape Town at approximately 18h00. PLEASE NOTE: Delays do occur on the railways that are out of our control. Delays of up to 2.5 hours have been known to occur at times. The time at the market will be adjusted, and will thus influence the time that the train arrives back at the departure point.

07h45 Depart from platform at Harbour Bridge Hotel & Suites (33.9135° S, 18.4260° E), Dockrail Rd, Foreshore, Cape Town
11h15 Arrive in Elgin (subject to delays en-route)
14h15 Departure from Elgin (adjusted if delays occur en-route)
18:15 Arrive back in Cape Town (subject to delays)

We are so excited to have you on board!


Duration10 hours 15 minutes
WhenThe service is available all year round, generally operating on Saturdays and Sundays.
WhereHarbour Bridge Hotel & Suites, Dockrail Rd, Foreshore, Cape Town
WeatherThis service runs in all weather conditions.
What to WearComfortable clothing. Closed footwear is advised.
Things to BringCash or Cards for goods sold on the train and at the market. A jersey or light-jacket should the weather change.
Guests or Spectators-


Minimum Age0 years
Minimum Height0.0 m
Maximum Height0.0 m
Fitness LevelNo Fitness Requirement
QualificationsNot Applicable
Maximum Weight0.0 kg
CertificationNone Required
Experience LevelNo Experience Requirement

Inclusions and Exclusions


The rail journey from Cape Town to Elgin Railway Market (Elgin) and back.
Unforgettable memories

ExclusionsFood, Drinks, all personal purchases are for your own account. We do have a card machine on board.


1. For information regarding wheelchair access, please email
2. We do not permit own food or drinks on board, but we do allow baby foods and items related to health conditions
3. No smoking is permitted.
4. We cannot control the actions of communities alongside the rail line, although we do out best to. We do have sporadic incidents of stones that are thrown at the train through certain areas; we undertake to do our best to monitor the known hotspots to ensure passengers are protected, and communities are engaged. We have patrollers on duty at various points along the railway line.

Customer Reviews

a perfect tour to Elgin on 11.Nov. 2023. Friendly staff at check-in and on the train. - Gerhard

The steam train to Elgin is a great day out! Magnificent mountain scenery can be enjoyed by all without having to worry about driving in traffic, or having a glass of wine with lunch at the memorable Elgin Market. The service on board the train is outstanding, with a range of drinks and snacks to suit all tastes. For those who remember the bygone days of rail travel from Cape Town the journey will be a particularly special experience! - John

A really wonderful day out. If you have an interest in steam trains then I guess it would be idyllic. We had seats in a lounge car, a bit more expensive but more than worth it. We enjoyed every minute of the excursion. The staff are friendly and helpful, the coffee on board is good, the sandwiches not so great. You can order these from your seat in the lounge cars. We met some really interesting people on board and chatted most of the way. The scenery is spectacular with some unusual views of the surrounding countryside. Elgin market is always worth a visit, loads to buy and masses of choice when it comes to having lunch. I had the porchetta which was delicious. I highly recommend this day trip for tourists and locals alike. - Richard

Absolutely loved it and highly recommend this days outing to the Elgin market. We'll be back. Regards, Brad Reinhardt - Brad

Great Experience One everybody must try ? - Henry

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