Subscribe to the Oldie and get a free cartoon book

Subscribe

Bumpy ride

Features |


Not all runs smoothly for Simon Courtauld

It all began well. We assembled in a comfortable station lounge, were given coffee and biscuits and, ten minutes later, were ushered on to the train, the Shosholoza Meyl, leaving Cape Town at 9.05 am for the 26-hour journey to Johannesburg. We were travelling ‘Premier Classe’, the two-berth compartment was quite spacious, and soon after departure we were invited along to the bar for a glass of South African sparkling wine and sandwiches.  After a welcome from the train manager, with information about meal times in the dining car, she mentioned that the train might be delayed. How much of a delay? Well, she said, there were signalling problems along the route and speed restrictions, and there had been flooding on the line. This sounded a bit like train travel in England, but when we were told that the previous journey had been nine hours late, I was inclined to...


I’m afraid this isn’t one of our six free articles available in full, which are set out in the first two rows of the ‘Magazine’ page.
Please click here to find them.

To buy a digital version of this issue for just £1.99, click here