If you reminisce about days gone by, when a train trip provided you with more than a simple perfunctory service, and long for a throw back to the days of steam trains, take a trip on the fabulous Tshwane Explorer.

Did you know?

George Stephenson was only 20 years old when he began building the first steam train in 1813.

Covering a distance of 60km in and around Pretoria, the Tshwane Explorer steam train trip is the perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon. If you have children, this is a great chance to introduce them to the magic of steam trains.

The Tshwane Explorer, which departs from the private Hermanstad Station, alongside Michaelson Street in Hermanstad, Pretoria, snakes through a number of suburbs on its way to the nearby town of Cullinan, including Gezina, Villieria, Queenswood, Waltloo, Silverton, Deneboom and Mamelodi.

Along the way you will likely catch sight of various game, kept by farmers in the area, including bontebok and ostriches. The game viewing gets a lot more exciting when passing the Somabula Nature Reserve, where animals such as rhino, antelope, kudu, impala and giraffe roam.

After the train pulls into Cullinan station, passengers are allowed to disembark and take photos of the train and then explore the beauty and tranquility of this small town. Enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants or find a spot to enjoy the picnic lunch you packed.

The train departs at a scheduled time, so it’s up to the passengers to make sure they arrive back at the station with enough time to spare – about 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Friends of the Rail
Tel: +27 (0)12 767 7913
Email: sales@friendsoftherail.com

Best time to visit

Any time of year is a good time. The winter months between May and September generally pass without much rain.

What will it cost

Tickets cost between R65 and R165 per person.

What to pack

Bring a good pair of binoculars for game viewing en route. The whole trip takes about three hours.