15 May 2011

The Blue Train

A few co-workers have mentioned seeing South Africa's Blue Train 南アフリカのブルートレイン here on Japanese TV. I'm just happy that programming that promotes South African tourism has survived beyond the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Upon investigating I found this video on YouTube. I love how the staff play along with their Japanese customer's whims. It really does seem to be the kind of luxury experience where the staff will go the extra mile for you—no pun intended. That, and South Africans are just friendly like that.

Below the video is another ad from the 1970s Die Huisgenoot. It's a pity that a company that advertised in Afrikaans before has a monolingual website now. But more about these matters on another day.

There is but one in the world.

In its June 1969 edition the authoritative American business magazine "Fortune" reviews fourteen of the world's top trains. One of them is our famous Blue Train — one of a kind.

The Blue Train is world famous for its luxury. Every coupé and compartment is elegantly equipped with wooden panels and soft seats of genuine leather. Each also has its own butler bell, and is air conditioned to create a pleasant atmosphere. In the restaurant carriage the service is impeccable, the wines unsurpassable, the cutlery of gleaming silver . . . and every meal is a feast. There's a luxurious lounge carriage with a cocktail bar. Soft, blue carpets. Everything of the best and the finest . . . right down to the special matchboxes with "Blue Train" in gold print!

The Blue Train departs from Pretoria and Johannesburg to Cape Town on Mondays, and from Cape Town on Wednesdays. From November to March the Blue Train also departs from Pretoria and Johannesburg on Wednesdays. Fare, Johannesburg — Cape Town: Single R32.98; Return R52.98.

Telephone your nearest bookings office, stationmaster or authorised travel agent for bookings or visit your nearest SA Rail Travel Bureau for all travel arrangements, including hotel bookings.


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