Cape Town railway station
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
The terminal of Cape Town station (before upgrading)
|Address||Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8000|
|Line(s)||Metrorail: Shosholoza Meyl: Premier Classe:|
Golden Arrow Bus Services
|Platforms||24 terminus platforms|
Cape Town station is the hub of the Metrorail Western Cape commuter rail network, which is operated by the Metrorail division of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The network consists of four lines, all of which originate from Cape Town: the Southern Line via the Southern Suburbs to Simon's Town; the Cape Flats Line via Athlone to Retreat; the Central Line via Langa to Mitchell's Plain, Khayelitsha and Bellville; and the Northern Line via Bellville to Paarl, Stellenbosch and Somerset West.
Shosholoza Meyl, the inter-city rail division of PRASA, operates several long-distance passenger rail services from Cape Town: a daily service to and from Johannesburg via Kimberley; a weekly service to and from Durban via Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg; and a weekly service to and from East London. These trains terminate at Cape Town station, as well as making a brief stop at Bellville.
Shosholoza Meyl also operates two semi-luxury Premier Classe services from Cape Town: twice-weekly trains to and from Johannesburg via Kimberley, and weekly trains to and from Port Elizabeth via George and Oudtshoorn.
In years past, Cape Town Railway Station was the starting point for many adventurers on their way to explore Africa. They would buy some or all their supplies in Cape Town and then take a steam train out of Cape Town Station.
|Preceding station||Metrorail||Following station|
Monte Vista service
services via Mutual
services via Pinelands
|Cape Flats Line||
towards Simon's Town
History & Alterations
The First Structure
The first railway station in Cape Town was a rudimentary wooden structure built in 1861, and was located near the current Golden Acre shopping centre. Cape Town's railways were in their infancy and the early station was small and simple.
The Victorian Building
In 1875 Cape Prime Minister John Molteno began construction of a massive stone complex to serve as the central station to the rapidly expanding railway network being built. The site for it was chosen near the bottom of Adderley street (where its successor still stands).
It was large enough to contain the increasing number of train platforms, as well as the headquarters of the recently formed Cape Government Railways, but additional enlargements were nonetheless added over the coming years.
The Current Station
Nearly a hundred years later in the mid nineteen-sixties, the historic stone Victorian building was demolished by the Apartheid government to make way for a modern building that would allow for the racial segregation of all commuters.
The current station complex is the result of alterations due to the preparations for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Like its predecessor it covers between 25 and 35 city blocks. The renovations are a joint initiative between PRASA-Metrorail and Intersite, the property management company. The immediate emphasis was on improving the look and feel as well as commuter comfort, with better access, information, safety and security ahead of the 2010 soccer World Cup.
Notable places nearby
Cape Town railway station is the only one in the City Bowl, so it is the nearest station to all the places of interest in central Cape Town. In the immediate vicinity of the station can be found:
- Cape Town City Hall
- Cape Town Civic Centre
- Artscape Theatre Centre
- The Grand Parade
- Castle of Good Hope
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cape Town station.|
- Kleingeld, Christo (2003). A South African Railway History. Accessed 14 December 2009.
- Burman, Jose (1984), Early Railways at the Cape, Cape Town: Human & Rousseau, ISBN 0-7981-1760-5