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logo of the Shosholoza Meyl trainShosholoza Meyl Train Reservation

The Shosholoza Meyl train is run by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and used to offer a range of routes within South Africa, but has been beset with issues. The great news is that from 30 May 2024 Shosholoza Meyl is restarting its train services between Johannesburg and East London; with Sitter class only costing R300 and Sleeper class R480 - great prices, this wont last long!

Shosholoza Meyl is restarting its Johannesburg to East London train service

To book Shosholoza Meyl, phone:

What a way to see South Africa - far more scenic than a quick flight.

Shosholoza Meyl train routes

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Economy & Tourist class

There are 2 classes on board the train.

Shosholoza Meyl train on its way through the Karoo (picture from N1)

Shosholoza Meyl routes

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Bloemfontein

Cape Town to Bloemfontein

Durban to Bloemfontein

East London to Bloemfontein

Johannesburg to Bloemfontein

Kimberley to Bloemfontein

Port Elizabeth to Bloemfontein

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Cape Town

Bloemfontein to Cape Town

Durban to Cape Town

East London to Cape Town

Johannesburg to Cape Town

Kimberley to Cape Town

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Durban

Bloemfontein to Durban

Cape Town to Durban

Johannesburg to Durban

Pietermaritzburg to Durban

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to East London

Bloemfontein to East London

Cape Town to East London

Johannesburg to East London

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Johannesburg

Bloemfontein to Johannesburg

Cape Town to Johannesburg
Stops at Bellville, Worcester, Beaufort West, Kimberley and Klerksdorp

Durban to Johannesburg

East London to Johannesburg

Kimberley to Johannesburg
Stops at Klerksdorp

Komatipoort to Johannesburg

Musina to Johannesburg

Nelspruit to Johannesburg

Pietermaritzburg to Johannesburg

Polokwane to Johannesburg

Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Kimberley

Bloemfontein to Kimberley

Cape Town to Kimberley

Durban to Kimberley

Johannesburg to Kimberley

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Nelspruit

Johannesburg to Nelspruit

Komatipoort to Nelspruit

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Pietermaritzburg

Durban to Pietermaritzburg

Johannesburg to Pietermartizburg

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Polokwane

Johannesburg to Polokwane

Musina to Polokwane

Shosholoza Meyl train trips to Port Elizabeth

Bloemfontein to Port Elizabeth

Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth


16 Nov 2010

Shosholoza Meyl & Premier Classe train services are reinstated.

15 Aug 2010

Passengers are left stranded when Shosholoza Meyl long-distance train services are suspended due to a dispute between Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa. It seems that Transnet refuses to certify Prasa trains that are not maintained by Transnet Rail Engineering, following Prasa making the decision to move the maintenance of its trains to its own workshops and other unnamed private contractors at the beginning of the week (saying that Transnet Rail Engineering was unreliable and costly). However, Transnet spokesman Mboniso Sigonyela released the following statement: "Transnet would like to place on record that there is no dispute between the parties relating to locomotive maintenance that is preventing Prasa trains from running on Transnet's network or any other dispute that would lead to the suspension of the Shosholoza Meyl service. Notwithstanding significant payment delays and pricing disputes, Transnet has continued to provide maintenance and upgrade services to Prasa. However, in mid-July 2010, Prasa revised certain governance processes that related to the manner in which work performed by TRE would be authorised by Prasa. The revisions have resulted in approximately 70 locomotives awaiting maintenance due to Prasa's inability to comply with these very same processes. Numerous attempts by Transnet officials for Prasa to address this serious matter have been unsuccessful and the situation continues."

May 2010

Shosholoza Meyl train services are suspended whilst workers go on strike.

7 Dec 2009

Two people are killed and a 110 hospitalised (mostly toddlers & teenagers) when two Shosholoza Meyl trains collided at 14h20 near Potchefstroom.

27 Jul 2009

At 0615am at Virginia passengers set alight 5 coaches of a Shosholoza Meyl train on its way from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg, after a locomotive broke down in the Free State. There were some 150 passengers on board and nobody was injured. Buses were used to take the passengers to their destinations.

"While arrangements were being made for a replacement locomotive, the passengers became very angry and started to threaten Shosholoza Meyl employees on board. The damage to the train is estimated at R9 million. Shosholoza Meyl does not condone acts of violence and the public should be aware that burning of trains is a crime and the perpetrators will face the might of the law."  said Shosholoza Meyl acting chief executive Viwe Mlenzana.

15 May 2009

Transnet announces that it has sold its interests in Shosholoza Meyl (as well as the coach maintenance business of Transnet Rail Engineering) to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa, formerly SA Rail Commuter Corporation). The deal was signed by Prasa’s chief executive (Tshepo Lucky Montana) and Transnet’s acting group chief executive (Chris Wells). The deal is effective from 31 Mar 2009 and the sale price was R100, with the sale agreement being signed on the 7th May 2009. As part of the transaction, Prasa paid an amount of R500m to Transnet on the 22nd May 2009, as reimbursement for passenger rail operating expenditure incurred by Transnet prior to the transfer date.Transnet Freight Rail was previously operating Shosholoza Meyl.

27 Oct 2007

The Shosholoza Meyl train crashes into a stationary Blue Train (which was waiting for it to pass) outside De Aar. Five passengers are seriously injured, 4 of whom are flown to Bloemfontein and the 5th to N1 City Hospital in Cape Town.

Children - Tourist Class
Children under 10 years accompanied by an adult in possession of a valid ticket pay half the adult fare. Children 10 years and older will pay the full adult fare. No unaccompanied children under the age of 16 will be allowed unless escorted or prior arrangements have been made with Shosholoza Meyl.

Children - Economy Class
Children under 5 years accompanied by an adult in possession of a valid ticket travel free of charge. Children from 5 to 9 years will pay half the adult fare and children 10 years and older will pay the full adult fare. No unaccompanied children under the age of 16 will be allowed unless escorted or prior arrangements have been made with Shosholoza Meyl.

Senior Citizens
Senior Citizens of 60 years and older are entitled to a discount during off-peak periods when they travel in Tourist Class (not applicable to Economy Class). Senior Citizens should produce their identity documents when buying a ticket.

Groups of 10 or more people receive a group discount during off-peak periods. No group discounts are available during peak periods.

Rent-a-compartment / Rent-a-coupè
A discount is applicable to individuals or families who prefer to travel alone by renting a coupè or compartment. The discount is only applicable during off-periods (Periods falling outside major holidays.)


Luggage in compartments coupès
Two medium-sized suitcases or carry bags needed during the journey are classified as luggage of a personal nature. Luggage is restricted to 50kg per full-paying passenger.

Charges for luggage
Luggage of a personal nature is conveyed free of charge, provided it can be placed conveniently on the luggage racks or in the compartment, without inconveniencing other passengers.

Excess personal luggage

Luggage of a personal nature in excess of luggage allowances will be charged according to the luggage price table and processed through the reservation system to availability of space. This luggage must be tendered for registration at a Shosholoza Meyl Sales and Reservation's office.

Unaccompanied Luggage
Luggage, such as household furniture can be carried on the train unaccompanied. Reservations cannot be done in advance, instead they have to be made on the day of departure. This is because there is unlimited space. Check-in for unaccompanied luggage closes 2 hours before the scheduled departure time of the train.

Commercial Goods / Abnormal
Commercial goods and abnormal luggage will be charged according to the luggage price-table and be processed through the reservation system.

Motor Vehicles
Shoshoza Meyl can carry vehicles on the train as well. Currently this service is limited to the Johannesburg - Cape Town and the Johannesburg - Durban lines only. There is limited capacity so reservations can best be done through the Call Centre or your nearest Shosholoza Meyl Office as early as possible.

Pets on Shosholoza Meyl Trains:
Pets are not allowed on board except for trained guide dogs.

Refunds are subject to the rules and regulations of Shosholoza Meyl refund policy.


Security personnel on the train are there to ensure the safety of every passenger. (TV cameras have been installed on the platforms for additional security.)

Smoking on Trains:
Smoking is prohibited on all Shosholoza Meyl trains and at the stations.

Special Requests:
Shosholoza Meyl caters for special requests on trains. If you require special assistance at the station or during the journey, please inform the reservations personnel. Upon making a reservation they will make sure you receive the assistance you need to make your journey pleasant and comfortable.

Medical Assistance
Should a passenger become ill on board, the Train Manager will arrange for assistance at the nearest station. There is always a first-aid kit onboard the train - please enquire from the Train Manager or Assistant Train Manager.

Ask our lovely travel consultant your questions here. She would love to assist.


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