Take a steam train to Vredenheim in the Stellenbosch Winelands

Posted by Chris Davies on 16 September 2014

Clouds of smoke, and the shrill blasts of a steam whistle are now a common Sunday morning affair in central Cape Town. For four years, Atlantic Rail has been taking day-trippers on steam-powered outings to Simon’s Town, and as of late August 2014 a new route has opened into the Stellenbosch Winelands.

Atlantic Rail Steam Train

A regular timetable has not yet been established, but on selected Sundays (to be confirmed according to demand), passengers will be able to enjoy a leisurely excursion to Vredenheim Wine Estate for an all-inclusive wine tasting, two-course lunch, and a tour of their Big Cats Park.

Restaurant Barrique’s shaded garden makes a wonderful setting for the lunch; a simple but delicious set-menu of either bobotie and sambals or chicken schnitzel and wedges, followed by an excellent apple crumble cheesecake and ice cream. (Note the menu may change from trip to trip, but you can get the latest information on Vredenheim’s website).

Kids get a choice of pizza, calamari or chicken strips, with Italian kisses or ice cream for dessert, and the option to ‘taste’ some grape juice so they don’t feel left out. For the adults, bottles of wine come at cellar prices and with a train taking you home it’s hard to resist.

Their next trip is scheduled for 2 November 2014, but judging from the popularity of the inaugural event, there will doubtless be many more coming.


Take a stroll through Vredenheim's beautiful gardens.

Take a stroll through Vredenheim’s beautiful gardens.

Or pack a picnic blanket and take your favourite wine out onto the lawns to digest your lunch.

Take your favourite wine out onto the lawns to digest your lunch. Photo courtesy of Vredenheim Wine Estate.


Book your train to Vredenheim

Time: Departure at 09h40 and return at 16h40 (to and from Cape Town Station)
Bookings: Atlantic Rail on [email protected] or 021 558 5805
Cost: R450 per adult and R350 per child (under the age of 12) – all inclusive
Note that the train departs from the Train Lodge, in central Cape Town – a dedicated platform adjecent to the main Cape Town terminus, but not accessed through the terminus itself. Click for directions to the Train Lodge.

Trips to Spier wine farm can also be arranged.

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