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Cape Town railway station

Coordinates: 33°55′20″S 18°25′35″E / 33.92222°S 18.42639°E / -33.92222; 18.42639
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Cape Town
Railway station
Cape Town Station in 2018
General information
LocationAdderley Street, Cape Town, 8000
South Africa
Coordinates33°55′20″S 18°25′35″E / 33.92222°S 18.42639°E / -33.92222; 18.42639
Owned byPRASA
Line(s)Metrorail: Shosholoza Meyl: Premier Classe:
Platforms24 terminus platforms
ConnectionsMyCiTi BRT
Golden Arrow Bus Services
Minibus taxis
Structure typeAt-grade
Cape Town is located in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town
Location in Cape Town
Cape Town is located in South Africa
Cape Town
Cape Town
Location in South Africa
The terminal of Cape Town station in 2006, before upgrading
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.


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 a semi-luxury Premier Classe service from Cape Town: weekly trains to and from Johannesburg via Kimberley.[1]


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


Preceding station Metrorail Western Cape Following station
Terminus Northern Line
services via Monte Vista
towards Bellville
Central Line
services via Mutual
Northern Line
services via Mutual
Central Line
services via Pinelands
Cape Flats Line Woodstock
towards Retreat
Southern Line Woodstock
towards Simon's Town
Preceding station Shosholoza Meyl Following station
towards Johannesburg
Johannesburg–Cape Town Terminus
Terminus Cape Town–East London Bellville
towards East London
Preceding station Premier Classe Following station
towards Johannesburg
Johannesburg–Cape Town Terminus

History and alterations[edit]

The first structure[edit]

Cape Town's first railway station, circa 1870

The first railway station in Cape Town was a rudimentary wooden structure built in 1861, and was located on the site of the present Golden Acre shopping centre. Cape Town's railways were in their infancy and the early station was small and simple.[2]

The Victorian building[edit]

Cape Town's second station, circa 1900

In 1876 Cape Prime Minister John Molteno began construction of a new station on the same site, to serve as the central station to the rapidly-expanding railway network being built. It was large enough to contain the increasing number of train platforms and the headquarters of the recently formed Cape Government Railways, but additional enlargements were nonetheless added over the coming years.[3][4]

The station complex expanded over the years, to include goods stations and other facilities on a large tract of land between Strand Street and the shore.

The current station[edit]

The present station was built on the site of the former goods station in the early 1960s. The old station building continued to be used for a few more years, until it was demolished in 1969. The vacant site was dubbed "the golden acre", and a shopping centre of that name was built there in the late 1970s.

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]


  1. ^ https://www.premierclasse.co.za/routes.html[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Kleingeld, Christo (2003). A South African Railway History. Accessed 14 December 2009.
  3. ^ unknown. "History of Stations on the Cape Town to Simonstown line | Atlantic Rail Heritage Steam Train Cape Town". www.atlanticrail.co.za. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  4. ^ Burman, Jose (1984), Early Railways at the Cape, Cape Town: Human & Rousseau, ISBN 0-7981-1760-5
  5. ^ Thomaz, Carla. "Station gets R418-million facelift ahead of 2010". Engineering News. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Cape Town Train Station". Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2012.

External links[edit]