TRAIN TRAVEL IN EGYPT (separate page)
OVERNIGHT SLEEPER TRAIN (below)
On this page:
OVERNIGHT SEATS | DAYTIME EXPRESS TRAIN | SLOW TRAIN
TRAIN TIMETABLES & FARES | BOOKING TRAIN TICKETS | LUXOR RAILWAY STATION
It's easiest to go to the station a few days before travelling to buy your tickets in person, but there are now alternatives.
Having reserved your ticket in advance, you must be in Cairo at least 24 hours before departure to Pay for & Collect your ticket. US Dollars or Euros required. . . . more fax reservation info
Only travellers with a local Egyptian Credit / Debit Card may book and pay online . . . more online payment info
The de-Luxe overnight sleeper train leaves from Rameses Station in Cairo, stopping at Giza Station, Assyuit, Luxor and Aswan.
Seats on the overnight sleeper train are often still available a few days ahead, but this train often gets booked up in advance by tour groups. If your travel date is important you should book in advance - in person - at the sleeper-train office in front of the main train station (Ramses Square, Cairo, Egypt) - signs in English and Arabic show the way to the ticket booth. You will need to use foreign currency, preferably US dollars or Euros - Egyptian currency is not accepted.
At the Cairo railway station you need to find the booking window for your chosen class of travel and destination. Buying tickets can be a lengthy process - it might help to buy your ticket a day or two ahead if you are around. You can pay for train tickets in Egyptian pounds - except for the deluxe overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor / Aswan (see below). On regular trains, children travel free up to 3yrs, then pay half-fare from 4-9 yrs and full-fare from 10 years (discounts are a little different on the deluxe sleeper train). The ISIC student card allows 33% discount.
In January 2010 El Watania took over from Abela.
Now the Cairo - Luxor - Aswan Deluxe Overnight Sleeper Train can be booked direct (that is: RESERVED, not paid for) from outside Egypt. The trick is to use FAX - phone or email is unlikely to be successful.
At least 24 hours before departure, you will need take your booking reference to the reservation office at the overnight sleeper reservation office at Cairo's Ramses Station, to pay for your overnight sleeper train tickets (in US Dollars or euros, not local currency) and collect them.
The upshot is that you still cannot arrive in Cairo and travel onwards by overnight sleeper train on the same day, when making the arrangements from outside Egypt.
Foreign visitors simply cannot purchase an overnight sleeper train ticket privately in advance unless they physically present themselves at the railway station a few days ahead of travelling. Foreign travellers may only reserve tickets in advance, not pay for them. And pre-booked tickets may not be collected on the day of travel, but must be colledted at least 24 hours in advance.
The only solution to this dilemma is to
use a local Egyptian Travel Agency
Read on for further information about DE-LUXE OVERNIGHT SLEEPER TRAINS ('Wagon-Lits')
If you book overnight sleeper train tickets from outside Egypt, through an Egyptian travel agency, you will have to pay slightly higher fares, and an additional booking fee. The agent takes full or partial payment when you book.
The following are listed for information only - we are not offering any endorsements or guarantees. Buyer beware!
OSORIS TRAVEL AGENCY (www.osoris.com)
OSORIS accept individual and group bookings with payment by email.
Several travellers have reported positively after using Osoris. Their charges are very variable - they usually add about $10 surcharge to the train fare and $5 - $25 booking fees depending on whether you want to collect the train ticket from their office, have it delivered to the airport or your hotel, or to be met with the ticket at Cairo railway station. Payments are by credit or debit card / paypal, bank transfer or Western Union transfer - but not all options may be available at any one time.
The terms and conditions are also on the
page, and need careful reading - for example:
It is imperative that all Osoris clients within effectiveness of payment must request in return for their payment an invoice & receipt as proof of all rights.
Note:-It becomes the client responsibility to obtain a receipt in return for payments & becomes understood that Osoris will not be responsible for any payments without this receipt.
PARADISE TRAVEL EGYPT
Paradise Travel Egypt still refer to Abela Egypt as the supplier.
They offer online booking and booking by email .
The following price guidelines may well be out of date now. I emailed them requesting an update on 3rd Sept 2010 and am awaiting their response.
For non-group reservations, 50% min. is paid upon confirmation (to be revised with your tour operator according to arrival dates, packages and availability) - they seem to prefer Western Union transfer - and the rest as cash on collection / delivery (USDollars or Euro only). Check the payment policy and conditions
Service charges unknown, and no traveller feedback available.
Other Egyptian Travel Agents appear to have given up the uunequal struggle:
It's not clear whether even Egyptians can book and pay for tickets for the overnight sleeper train online.
If you have a local credit card issued in Egypt you book and pay online using the new online credit / debit card payments "Railway Tickets Reservation Service". This
allows reserving tickets of the Egyptian National Railway Authority for the first and second class air-conditioned trains only. But that could be construed to exclude overnight sleeper train tickets. There's a service charge of 4% on each ticket - and lots of conditions attached.
I believe that, even if, for some reason, you do have an Egyptian credit card, you should probably read the punishing terms and conditions (updated on 28th March, 2010, on the Egyptian National Railways website) rather carefully before deciding to buy online.
Tourist groups are not allowed to reserve from the Internet. Their Travel Agent in Egypt should contact ENR (Egyptian National Railways) for further information where special travel and security arrangements are made.
Children aged 4-9 have a reduced fare, and 0-3 yrs travel free, on the overnight sleeper train. Single travellers may choose to pay more for a single berth compartment or may share a 2-berth compartment with a passenger of the same sex.
The modern air-conditioned sleeping-car compartments have 1 or 2-berths and are are equipped with basins, razor plugs, tap water, soap and towels. There are private reading lamps, and a control panel allowing you to change the temperature and the music/audio volume or to call the steward. The air-conditioning can be quite chilly - you may need an extra layer!
According to the Abelia website (from the days when Abelia were in charge of bookings), the fare includes a basic evening meal and breakfast, served on an airline-style tray - you can see the breakfast and dinner menus on the Abelia website. A bar-lounge 'Club Car' serves drinks - drinks can be served in your compartment cost extra.
Great novels, travel guides and childrens' books about Egypt - perfect for reading on the train, or before you go to sleep in your 'wagon-lit'!
Travellers can now book the Cairo - Luxor - Aswan Deluxe Sleeper Train in advance, from outside Egypt