The Baluleka is the Spoornet Top Client train

Baluleka Train Information

Baluleka means "You are important" 

Pictures ...... Baluleka Coach Photos


Once a year it makes a few runs in all the provinces, in the Western Cape - from Cape Town to Darling, Cape Town to Sir Lowrey's Pass and Saldanha to Lus 3.  I am not sure about the routes in the other provinces. 

The train takes clients of all the sectors (grain, coal, iron, intermodal etc) out on a day trip on some scenic railroad.  Normally a trip of about 100 + kilometers. The trip is to allow the clients to relax in a "Spoornet" atmosphere and chat about anything while being served lunch and drinks.

 The day before the train departs with the clients it is cleaned thoroughly inside (takes about 4 hours), the diesel tanks are filled so are the water tanks for the taps and toilets.

 As I understood from the driver of the train is that the Baluleka enjoys Blue Train privileges as far as line usage is concerned.  We pulled off about 4 times during the trip to Darling alone, but I did not feel like asking him what happened to our privileges.

The train is drawn by 1 x Class 35 Diesel, normally the Blue painted version as that is the official Spoornet colour for traction at this moment.

The reason that drives this effort is not only to thank clients for their business but also to inform them of the Spoornet Logistic Business Strategy (how Spoornet will operate their traffic in the future and Spoornet’s vision of the proper Logistic System they are implementing).

 The interesting part of the train is the High Tech Coach (by which it is called) - as you enter it the lights go out and you are visually empowered by 3D video projection, big screens and surround sound telling the story of the Vision of the proper logistics chain that Spoornet endeavors to run in the future.  They have even planned as far as 30 years ahead of time.

 As I gather from people that have seen it, it is quite an experience. 

Baluleka Train

The train consist:

Starting from the Diesel engine:-

1) Composite Kitchen / 1st Class Compartments / Generator coach

2) Conference / Dining Coach

3) Lounge / Bar Coach

4) Smokers Lounge / Standard Trans Karoo 1st Class Passenger

5) High Tech Coach

6) Composite Store / Power Coach.

Consist in more detail:

(Please note here that all the coaches were standard stock and have all being converted, see explanation hereunder.)

Coach 1 - Converted from a composite 1st Class Passenger / Parcels coach - Motor coach with two diesel engines for electricity to all parts of the train.  (Stoves, dishwasher, air conditioners, warm water geysers, lights whatever else)

Coach 2 - Converted from a 1st Class Passenger coach - Conference coach with tables and chairs for meetings etc

Coach 3 - Converted from a 1st Class Passenger coach - Bar / Lounge - For sitting down and having a drink and some snacks

Coach 4 - Converted from a 1st Class Passenger coach - Smoking Lounge with compartments.  Original setup has been left in place i.e.. double compartments and single compartments.  All they have done is take out the bunks and replaced them with better cushioned seats.

Coach 5 - Converted from a parcels coach - Called the "High Tech Coach"  due to the multimedia system that is in the coach.  Sound system that blows your mind, 3D video projection (You get 3D glasses to watch with).  What you see is the Spoornet Business plan for the next few years and how the Spoornet and Clients logistic systems fit in together to form a Logistic Chain. – No other info available on this coach as it was locked during the time of visit.

Coach 6 - Converted from a composite 1st Class Passenger / Parcels coach – No other info available on this coach as it was locked during the time of visit.

Baluleka Train

Last thought...

The theme of the couches, blinds, carpets etc are all "African Animals" in dark brown, light brown and beige with brass work everywhere to compliment it.  The rooves (outside) are lightish grey and the coach colour is..... ?.... I think sea green... Not sure what type of green but it is almost neon green but from far not as luminous. 

 In any case it is quite a trip and the inside of the train is suited for a king, taking the Big Five Theme a little further.

Christo Kleingeld

Pictures ...... Baluleka Coach Photos

Back to Train Index

Copyright is alive and well, please click