Cape Town railway station

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Cape Town
Railway station
Cape Town Station, Interior 1.jpg
The terminal of Cape Town station (before upgrading)
Station statistics
Address Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8000
Coordinates 33°55′20″S 18°25′35″E / 33.92222°S 18.42639°E / -33.92222; 18.42639Coordinates: 33°55′20″S 18°25′35″E / 33.92222°S 18.42639°E / -33.92222; 18.42639
Line(s) Metrorail: Shosholoza Meyl: Premier Classe:
Connections MyCiTi BRT
Golden Arrow Bus Services
Minibus taxis
Structure type At-grade
Platforms 24 terminus platforms
Tracks 24
Other information
Opened 1863
Rebuilt 1961
Owned by PRASA
Location
Cape Town railway station is located in Cape Town
Cape Town railway station
Location in central Cape Town
Blackie, the first locomotive in South Africa, previously displayed at Cape Town Railway Station, now awaiting relocation to a new railway museum to be erected near the station

Cape Town railway station is the main railway station of the city of Cape Town, South Africa. It is located along Adderley and Strand Streets in the city's central business district.

Lines[edit]

Metrorail Lines[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Other[edit]

Cape Town Railway Station is also used by the luxury tourist-oriented Blue Train and the private train holiday company Rovos Rail.

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.

Services[edit]

Preceding station   Metrorail   Following station
Terminus Northern Line
Monte Vista service
towards Bellville
Central Line
services via Mutual
Northern Line
Central Line
services via Pinelands
Cape Flats Line
towards Retreat
Southern Line
towards Simon's Town
Shosholoza Meyl
Terminus Cape Town–Johannesburg
towards Johannesburg
Premier Classe
Terminus Cape Town–Johannesburg
towards Johannesburg
Cape Town's first railway station. circa 1870.

History & Alterations[edit]

The First Structure[edit]

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.[1]

Cape Town's second station. circa 1900.

The Victorian Building[edit]

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.[2][3]

Cape Town's modern station.

The Current Station[edit]

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.[4]

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.[5][6]

Notable places nearby[edit]

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:

See also[edit]

Cape Town station in 1875.

References[edit]