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For a day trip with a difference, why not take a steam train from Pretoria to Cullinan. You will get the chance to re-live the steam travel era – relax while the trackside scenery passes you by; have some refreshment in the lounge stocked with ice-cold drinks, munchies, tea and coffee; best of all, when you reach Cullinan, climb up into the locomotive to see how it all works.
Experience the heritage of the Hermanstad Station in Pretoria, the history of the different railway lines used for the trip and watch the engine make its way around the long curves in the line. Finally, arrive at the Cullinan Station – an almost exact recreation of how it was in 1905.
There are plenty of options to entertain you during the four hours you will spend in Cullinan. Take a picnic or braai that you can enjoy in the park that offers free fires and is close to the station; visit the historic town and have some lunch at a restaurant or coffee shop and then visit the McHardy House Mini-Museum, which provides a window into life in the early mining years at the Cullinan Mine through photographs and possessions of the mine’s first general manager. The museum is open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, and on weekdays only by prior appointment. Also worth seeing are the eight frescoes painted by Italian prisoners of war in the old Rec Club.
Then there is the Cullinan Mine that offers tours of its operations and has a wonderful Diamond Store, offering the rare blue diamonds only found in Cullinan, loose stones to choose from for your own unique setting and a range of stylish jewellery.
Some nitty gritty about the trip
Please ensure that you know where the station is located and plan to arrive there at least 30 minutes before departure (8h30) to check in and locate your seats. The train cannot wait for late-comers. Plenty of free secure parking is available at the station.
The total trip is about nine hours – five hours travelling and four hours in Cullinan.
Booking is essential. To see the detailed trip, the timetable and to make an online booking, visit the Friends of the Rail website. E-mail: Tel: 012 767 7912 or 012 767 8145 or 082-098-6186 or Intl: +27-82-098-6186. Booking is also available at Computicket.
This trip is also available to parties, launches, corporate and charter groups who can even rent their own private coach or train if they wish. Larger groups and people with special needs must first directly contact us by phone or email to confirm sufficient space and availability of correct facilities before making any booking.
For more things to do in Northern Gauteng, visit ShowMe Northern Gauteng.