A Scenic Steam Train Ride from Cape Town to Elgin on Ceres Rail

A Scenic Steam Train Ride from Cape Town to Elgin on Ceres Rail

Enjoy a relaxing, weekend ride through the Western Cape countryside.

Few things are more romantic and enjoyable than a steam-train ride through the countryside… And with Ceres Rail’s fleet of steam trains (namely Jessica, Bailey and Red Devil), you get the full train experience, complete with travelling comforts.

Says Derick du Toit, co-founder of the historic Ceres Rail Company: “The ride to Elgin is one of the Cape’s most scenic routes and has the added bonus of stopping at the steampunk-themed Elgin Railway Market.”

Choo choo your way to elgin

This family-friendly trip departs from the Royal Cape Yacht Club, near the V&A Waterfront and takes you on a three-hour train ride to Elgin. The train travels up Sir Lowry’s Pass with a double header (two locomotives) where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of mountains, endless rolling hills – and even spot a few sheep and cows along the way.

You’ll enjoy the utmost comfort during your journey in the Dining Car, with hot beverages and savoury snacks served. Should you prefer a beer, bubbly, wine or a soft drink, head to the Bar Car. (Please note: snacks and refreshments are not included in the ticket price).

To Market, to market

Once the train pulls into the Elgin station, you will be able disembark, and enjoy three-and-a-half hours at the newly established steampunk-themed Elgin Railway Market. With live music and a dazzling selection of clothing, accessories, ceramics and art stalls, you’ll be able to enjoy all that’s on offer while savouring tantalising street-food and refreshments

Training times

The trains depart from the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town at 8am for an arrival in Elgin at 11am. After that, passengers may explore the Elgin Railway Market before heading back to the Mother City in time for a 5.30pm arrival.

Diarise these dates for upcoming Cape Town to Elgin Rail trips in 2018

Saturday, 29 September
Sunday, 7 October
Saturday, 13 October
Saturday, 27 October
Sunday, 28 October
Saturday, 3 November
Saturday, 10 November
Saturday, 17 November
Sunday, 18 November
Saturday, 1 December
Saturday, 8 December
Saturday, 15 December
Saturday, 22 December
Saturday, 29 December

Location Royal Cape Yacht Club, Duncan Road, Table Bay Harbour, Cape Town


29 September 2018


Saturday, Sunday 8am – 5.30pm


R750 (adults return)
R500 (children, 3 – 13 years return)
Free (children 0 – 2 years)


Book now


The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 06 September 2018

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75 Responses to “A Scenic Steam Train Ride from Cape Town to Elgin on Ceres Rail”

  1. Bonaria Beverley

    How much is it for pensioners? (SASSA)

  2. Jenny

    Hopefully you will soon have a pick up and drop off in Somerset West.

  3. Gigi

    A big Thank You to the brigade of volunteers who keep our memories of steam rail trips alive 😊🚂

  4. Gigi

    We’ve had the pleasure of a steam train ride to Ceres in coaches that our memories of way back when were made of. Granted, this is not a cheap ride to Ceres and back, but it’s not the”trip” that we paid for, but the EXPERIENCE. What all the detractors complaining about the price don’t realise that this operation has HUGE costs attached to running and maintaining the steam trains which justify higher ticket prices than we are “comfortable” with. So if you’re looking for a trip to Ceres, gather a bunch bof mates and take a car. Ceres Rail is about a trip down memory lane. And Ceres Rail do offere shorter less expensive experiences for the cash-strapped.

  5. Nicky sinclair

    Would like to inquire about availablility for 4 of on your feb 17th ceres train ride.

  6. Gay

    The add says R 950 including lunch , then states that lunch costs R150 !
    Unfortunately too expensive for a pensioner. I can drive their for cheaper !
    Agree this is for tourists!!!

  7. Colin

    Would make business sence to fill the train every weekend with locals than barely have any bookings hoping for International tourists. Good luck

  8. Les

    Price not bad at all. It is an experience for kids that will possibly never have the pleasure of a train trip like we did in yester year. I would pay for it. Maybe you all should try the Blue Train at R13K pp. Now see how reasonable the price is for this trip. Looking forward to taking my son

  9. Karl

    Sounds like a fantastic day out, but totally unaffordable for our family.

  10. Allen

    Sounds awesome and very reasonable. In Europe that would only get you 10 beers 😎

  11. Adele

    Another beautiful experience in our hometown to be exclusively enjoyed by tourists since locals cannot afford it

  12. faz

    These prices are ridiculous!!!!!

  13. Adrian

    super excited until I saw the price! what the…?!

  14. Catharina hendry

    Are they out of their minds with those prices? I’d rather hop onto the shozaloza meyl and have a great trip to jbh and back. Better value for money. South Africans can barely afford to.explore our country due to astronomical prices. Shame really.

  15. Alison

    Definitely for tourists we as locals are not allowed to enjoy what our Country offers because they make everything so expensive for us to partake in, very sad

  16. NAJWA

    Was super stoked when I saw this!! Pardon the pun…the excitement just lost its vigour and went up in smoke when looking at the cost!! I have three kids over the age of 13… (eyes rolling!!) not cool…not cool at all

  17. Stephan

    Well, if pricing is the object of many people here, than you could book a one way to Ceres at R250 per adult and one way back to CT at R250 – which makes it only R500!

    • LMG

      That is a bit of a snotty response, since the price objection is a legitimate one. We have 4 kids in our newly integrated family. And 2 on them are classified as “adults”, make the math!

      It’s ridiculous that we, the ordinary citizens, can’t enjoy such offerings with our families due to the ridiculous prices! We miss out on sharing beautiful moments with our kids because we simply can’t afford a R5k, one day trip!

  18. Lourens

    Extreme prices. That money I will rather spend on a normal train to Matjiesfontein.



  20. Melanie du Toit

    This is a really sad example of companies in and around Cape Town catering to foreigners and not taking locals into account. We are a year-round holiday destination but surely some sort of ‘locals fee’ should apply? This is astronomically expensive.

  21. Sue

    Will you be doing trips in December 2017?

    If yes, please send the dates.

  22. Marion Schoeman

    Typing this as I travel on the train to Ceres. Absolutely lovely experience shared with foreign visitors, and locals who have, like me, saved for a special occasion.

  23. Jeanette Atkinson

    I see that there is a concession for children but not for pensioners. Would love to go if that were the case. I am 78 and my husband 85. Any chance of a reduction?

    • Jeanette Atkinson

      We are very disappointed that we did not even have the courtesy of a reply!!!!

  24. Cheryl

    I would like to add my 2 pc for what it’s worth: super excited to see advert, all gung ho to go…sadly can’t. Waaaaay too expensive for my budget(sad face)

  25. Lynn Coetzee

    Seems like pricing is an issue. Is it possible to start the trip from Paarl, for example, to make it more cost effective? I would love to take this trip, but family of 5 is going to need some major saving and I note that it closes end of 2016?!


    Would love to do it, but the price is too much when u still need to pay for food 🙁

  27. Marcelle

    I would’ve loved the experience – but to pay R3800 for a family outing is clearly not in my budget. I do understand why it is expensive, but in these times it is not an option.

  28. Sharlene

    Seems like a nice trip, if drinks and food was included that would have been reasonable.

  29. Jannie Hanekom

    It’s a chunk of money but I consider it reasonable value – I’m going with my son. Yes, at a typical running cost of R1.40 per km, your car would cost you R400 for the 300km round-trip, but I don’t quite get the comments about it being cheaper to drive to Ceres. Of course it is. But then the point of this offering isn’t about getting to Ceres and back in the most efficient manner… I would like to see it more accessible to particularly families too, but if you’re going to complain about pricing, at least use more relevant comparisons.

  30. Emma Kate

    Awesome idea but way too expensive even for tourists!! We live in NZ and the cost for our family of 5 ( 2 adults 3 kids) would be approximately NZD$310 for a return ticket excluding the lunch! And why on earth can’t we take our own food along, that’s just silly. Nice idea but you need to lower your prices to make it tourist affordable.

  31. Noel van Alphen

    You can afford those kind of prices ..only the tourists ibet well bye bye Choo Coo train. .

  32. Eugene

    This is not worth the money it will cost, better to go by car and stop off at the places you want to see. In these times of economic mayhem, these prices are exorbitant, to say the least

  33. Candice

    I, like many others were so excited to come across this little adventure until you realize what this is going to cost! Disgusting to say the least, the fact that food is not even included in that price is even more disgusting! You should seriously reconsider your pricing as this is not fair to your average family!

  34. Daniel Coetzer

    Just another example of RSA citizens being ripped off at tourist price and still the question gets asked why no locals ever attend. WHY DO YOU THINK ?

  35. Vanessa

    I remember doing this trip about to ceres about 15 years ago, my father took me. Did not know how much he paid…. I wanted to take my son now, but only royalty can afford that price. Utter ridiculous. I understand it costs them to set this all up. But, if they lower the price by about half, R400 both ways, I’ll consider it. MAYBE. I would think R250 both ways is reasonable! Such a let down. Oh well.

  36. Claire Kaplan

    My kids would love that! But yoh! We could never afford it!

  37. Rika

    This sounds amazing and I think well worth the price considering it is on a STEAM TRAIN which not many of us has had the privilege of riding. It takes a lot of money to have this train operate and it’s sad to see people want everything for free yet again. Be my guest and take metrorail at your own peril. I don’t roll in money, but would save up to do this with my family. Thanks for the post.

  38. Patrick Cobb

    R3000.00 minimum for a family day outing with my 9 yr old twins….this is so sadly priced, not affordable. Please go back to the costings and review as I doubt that you will fill the coaches.

  39. Siddas

    Clearly price is an issue. I hope that comments will be considered.

  40. Carol Steed

    Was super excited when I read about this train trip however totally deflated when I saw the price nearly died gob smacked R1600 for hubby and I and that excludes lunch and drinks. You are looking at over R2000 for two people for trip with drinks and lunch. Clearly not for the man in street only for the rich and famous and tourists. How sad

  41. Petrus

    Sounds soooo nice and would love to do it, but that price is absolutely ridiculous.

  42. Liza

    I am extremely sad as my children have always wanted to go on a train ride and what a fabulous idea for a train ride to Ceres. Totally gutted that I will never be able to afford such a fabulous train ride and give my children the opportunity to experience a ride on a steam train. I was a young girl when I was able to go on a ride in a steam train from Somerset West station to Botriver….what a fabulous experience and something that I will never forget. Please make the ride affordable.

  43. Margie

    Oh wow great but way too expensive

  44. Colleen

    PRICES MUST FALL #tooexpensive

  45. Wynand du Plessis

    That sounded like such a nice outing, but at R1900 minimum for two adults???

  46. Cheryl

    Looked like an awesome birthday present for a friend until I saw the price. R800 per person excluding eats and drinks? I would rather give her a R500 voucher. Maybe you need to review your price to get passengers to buy in

  47. Edward

    Way to expensive. Will rather drive to Ceres and have a nice lunch at the local steak house. If cheaper rates was available, it could have been a nice day outing… but Capetonians won’t pay those ridiculous prices…

  48. Bronwyn

    Everyone summed it up perfectly. Those prices are ridiculous. Cheaper to drive there, use AirBNB for an overnight stay and scenic, slow drive home the next day

  49. Rene

    I was thrilled to read about this dream trip as we have never been on a steamtrain as a family. But then came pricing. Geez! What about locals that will much better enjoy this experience. We are a family of five. So yes! Way over budget. You will get so much support from your locals if the pricing was better…..

  50. Nikiko Boltman

    The prices are exorbitant. I think Capetonians or South Africans in general should receive a locals discount.. ( a hefty one) we were so excited reading about this trip to find out when we came to the prices that we could never afford it or would have to save up for next year.

  51. Brandon

    Maybe get a Metrorail to Ceres that likely uses the same line, you’re looking at R40 a return. Then take your own snacks for the ride. 😛

    • Allison

      Way too expensive. Jeez! Absolutely hate the holiday season, as I’ve noticed a change in menu prices too.

  52. Annemarie

    Not for the locals who pay in ZAR but not expensive for international tourists. Why not have different rates for SA citizens? Many european countries do it. Cape Town has become very expensive for locals.

  53. Kim Bouwer

    Sounds nice but not the price

    • RosemarySummers

      Sounds delightful, but the price is much too steep for a pensioner and the average South African.

  54. Nelinia

    R800 per person?? I mean – I understand Cape Town has been catering for the overseas guest for the past 10 years – even a cup of coffee is expensive. But this is totally so annoying. No local person can enjoy this with family and friends. Something really needs to be done about these tourism attractions, which do not cater for the local market. No wonder there is no business in the off season. Really disgusted!

    • Allison

      I agree! Family of 4. R3200? Errrrr no. I don’t think so. We’ll drive rather.

  55. anna

    Prices are extreme, that is making it near to impossible for the normal bracket income group.
    Guess its more for the foreigners to enjoy.

  56. Tristan Beebe

    Was so keen to do this until I saw the price 🙁

  57. Robin

    R800 for the day excluding drinks and food is shockingly high, especially when one knows for sure that there will be a massive mark-up on the drinks and food in any event. Lovely idea but totally prohibitively priced for most. So difficult to find things local Cape Townians can afford too. Feels like this City is catering more and more exclusively to tourists.

  58. Valerie Hendricks

    Most expensive for a family trip…

  59. Monica Lashmar

    I was so excited to read what the trip was all about…but then came the price and the fact that you had to still pay for food and bewerages. I think this is again a complete disgust to charge these prices. The locals would have loved to do this but to pay R3200.00 for the trip alone and still at least another R350 pp for food and bewerages for a family of 4, for one day’s entertainment is just plain crazy!!

    • patsy

      They are pricing themselves out of bussiness ,they won’t be able to keep up if they had more affordable pricing,cause as it stands,sounds that everyone would have loved to go on this adventure trip.

  60. Gareth Lawrence

    Are all drinks and snacks on board complimentary?

  61. Nicole Isaacs

    For a day trip I think its astronomical. Clearly not a budget friendly trip for the bulk of CT families. Especially considering our current state of affairs.

  62. Lizelle nieuwenhuizen

    Goodday I just want to know the R400 adult ticket is it just from cape town to ceres and then you must pay agian to get back to cape town sorry for the question its just the one way that make me a bit confused

    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Lizelle

      It’s R400 one way, and R800 return. Good luck.

      • Annie

        So it’s basically R800 per person for the day? Seems a bit steap.

        • The Inside Guide

          Yes, it does seem steep, doesn’t it?

          • Jeremy

            One must remember the cost of operating these vintage locomotives and the cost of restoration. It is excellent value for money for a whole day adventure on nostolgia!

  63. Lorraine fox

    Sounds wonderful