Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Blue Train
Mouille Point's promenade has for years been the home of the delightful miniature Blue Train (that's not the luxury version that travels 1 600 kilometres between Pretoria and Cape Town, although it may as well be if you consider the excitement on the faces of its passengers).
Where? The Blue Train, Mouille Point Beachfront, Mouille Point, Cape Town
When? Open daily from 09h00 until sunset, weather permitting
How? Call + 27 (0)84 314-9200
Based in a popular picnic area it has entertained generations of Cape Town's children, although it steadily fell into disrepair over the years and for some time was even out of action.
The train is something of an icon, considering its 50 year existence, and its place on the extremely popular seven-kilometre promenade that stretches from the beachfront at Bantry Bay to Mouille Point means parents in the essentially apartment-style-highrise-building environment have an outlet, other than the swings and grassy areas that line the boardwalk, at which to amuse their children.
At any time of day this part of Cape Town is alive with walkers, strollers, joggers, dogs, and children swinging, playing with soccer balls or flying their kites (wind permitting).
In recent years the Blue Train has been 'turned around' by the Rotary Club of Sea Point, who have invested some R70 000 into repairing the train's engine and improving the surrounding area - a tea garden is on the cards, the grass now receives attention, a picnic blanket and snacks to eat are now definitely a pre-requisite, and the inner area will soon include a half pipe for skateboarders.
Better still is the satisfaction of knowing that the proceeds from the already ridiculously cheap train ride (where else can you entertain children for under R20 a ride?) will go to charities such as the Includid Homes for mentally challenged adults in Maitland and the Ilitha Crèche in Khayalitsha.