Cape Town railway station
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The terminal of Cape Town station (before upgrading)
|Location||Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8000|
|Line(s)||Metrorail: Shosholoza Meyl: Premier Classe:|
|Platforms||24 terminus platforms|
Golden Arrow Bus Services
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.
|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 1960s, 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
- https://www.premierclasse.co.za/routes.html[permanent dead link]
- Kleingeld, Christo (2003). A South African Railway History. Accessed 14 December 2009.
- unknown. "History of Stations on the Cape Town to Simonstown line | Atlantic Rail Heritage Steam Train Cape Town". www.atlanticrail.co.za. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- Burman, Jose (1984), Early Railways at the Cape, Cape Town: Human & Rousseau, ISBN 0-7981-1760-5
- http://www.xchange.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=33[permanent dead link]
- Thomaz, Carla. "Station gets R418-million facelift ahead of 2010". Engineering News. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- Media related to Cape Town station at Wikimedia Commons