Nightmare on the Trans Karoo!

The Trans Karoo (TK) is my favourite South African Mainline Passenger train. This was one of the worst trips ever!

There was one year – 2002, the year of the G8 summit – that my father and I took the TK down to Cape Town for the weekend and back on Sunday.

Going down, it was the first and only time we ever shared a compartment with strangers – the one gentleman was a Military man going home to Worcester and a foreign fellow from Bangladesh.

They were there first so secured the bottom bunks. I stayed up late into the night – until arriving at Kimberly after 00h00 – speaking to the foreign gentleman who was very interested in my knowledge of trains and he was telling me about Bangladesh. It was beautiful going through the Talbach Kloof and Hex River Pass as there was snow on the mountains and thick mist in places and FREEZING in the corridor!

Coming back we experienced one of the very few times that the Vapour Clarkson (Steam Heat Wagon) was working and decided against ren ting bedding.

Later in the evening it stopped working and my father and I (we were alone this time) took all the clothes out our suitcases and put it on – not to mention the top bunk was bang bang bang bang banging on the compartment wall like taka taka taka taka the whole night – needless to say that was ONE train journey I wished would just end!


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