Egypt Train travel
A beginner’s guide to in Egypt Train travel, Country information One report suggests these tourist restrictions have now been lifted, but no firm reports have yet been received of anyone actually going to the ticket office and being sold a ticket for the Cairo-Luxor daytime trains.
If you try Egypt Train travel, please email me!
Here’s a report from someone who successfully booked their Egypt Train travel Cairo to Luxor daytime tickets online (Sept 2011): “We bought our train tickets online at the Egyptian National Railways website having followed your instructions and signed up.
It took 2 or 3 days until I could log in successfully, but I managed to book tickets online from Cairo to Luxor and from Aswan back to Cairo.
We caught train 980 from Cairo to Luxor in first class leaving at 8am (platform 8) with self-print online tickets costing 187.20 Egyptian pounds between us [about £24, just £12 per ticket] and later took train 983 from Aswan to Cairo again in first class, leaving at 7am, costing 226.72 Egyptian pounds between us [about £29 or £14.50 each].
We had no trouble with our print-at-home tickets on the train, as soon as the conductors saw them they spoke in English.
Quite simple really.
We saw a few other non-Egyptians on the trains, all of whom had had to get around the system by getting people to buy tickets for them, or getting split journey tickets, costing around an extra 100 Egyptian Pounds.”
And here’s a report from someone who simply got on the Egypt Train travel and paid on board (Feb 2010): “I wanted to use daytime train number 980 leaving Cairo at 08:00 for Luxor [and why not, that’s precisely the train I’d want to use!].
Someone then suggested I board the train and pay on board. I did this and plonked myself in a first class seat and hoped it was not reserved.
I paid 97 Egyptian pounds (£9 or $16) when asked by the conductor on board and held the seat all the way to Luxor.
When I wanted to return from Luxor back to Cairo.
I was told the same story, that train number 981 leaving Luxor at 08:30 was not for tourists.
So once again I simply boarded the train and paid on board. I did get moved from seat to seat this time, but ended up meeting several interesting people.
More feedback (Jan 2011): “My wife and I were keen to travel from Cairo to Aswan on daytime express train number 980 and attempted to buy tickets at the ticket office.
We were, of course, refused, and pointed towards the overnight train ticket window.
We’d previously used your website when travelling by train through India and, after reading the Egypt section, thought we’d give train 980 a go anyway.
We arrived at Cairo train station at around 7:00am on the 9th of January, 2011 and headed straight for platform 8 (another traveller on your site mentioned this platform for the 980 service); we also confirmed with a few snack-shop owners that this platform was correct.
The train pulled up at 7:30am,
departed on time at 8:00am, and we bought tickets from a ticket inspector about 30 minutes into our journey with no questions asked.
The rest of the trip went smoothly and we arrived at Aswan on time, at around 9:00pm.”
More feedback (Oct 2010): “You can indeed still buy tickets on board the daytime train from Cairo to Luxor.
The ticket inspector was knowing and affable and had no qualms with selling it to me. He even confirmed that I was indeed in first class and charged me just 96LE to Luxor.
I’d like to voice my gratitude to others who have left feedback here because I met not one person in Cairo who could confirm the situation, and every Egyptian (including the folks in the hostel) advised me strongly against it, some for their own gains (selling tours etc).
However some just didn’t know for sure and strangely took the rigid approach.
Have confidence! The trip is scenic and worth it. A day of the interesting countryside of Egypt without the hassle. A winner!
…and some more feedback: “On Friday 28/05/2010 we travelled on the 7am train from Aswan to Luxor 1st class air con. My girlfriend had tried to get tickets the night before in the somewhat shorter female-only queue, but was told they couldn’t sell tickets to tourists and to buy them on the train.
The next day we did as told, waltzed through the security barrier, asked a policeman and he showed us where to get the 1st class train.
There were only about 10 passengers in total in the three 1st class carriages, so no problems at all. The cost was 47 LE each, and arrived on time.
A good experience, just shame we wasted 20 minutes trying and failing to buy a ticket at the ticket office the previous day!”
…and yet more feedback: One correspondent reports (January 2010) “At both Aswan and Luxor, but not the smaller stations, there was an airport-style security barrier, where they X-ray selected passengers’ baggage.
However, there was no ticket check at the barrier.
Everyone including the tourist office, police, and railway staff said we could go on the ordinary [restricted] trains if we paid the small surcharge for buying a ticket on board, the restriction was only on buying the tickets in advance.”
Another report (February 2010) confirms that there are no checks or barriers in Cairo main station preventing you accessing the platforms and boarding any train you like and paying on board Egypt Train travel.
and a bit more… I traveled in June 2010, and nothing has changed, there are no barriers, you can just board the train. I boarded the 08:00 air-con express train from Cairo to Luxor & Aswan (always go for first class!) and simply paid on board.
The same worked on the return journey.
However, as you haven’t got a booked seat you may find yourself moved about.
I had no problem keeping my seat down to Aswan on the outward trip.
But the train was very crowded on the return and as we got nearer to Cairo many people were standing including me.
But no one got angry or stressed.
A kind Egyptian bloke then let me perch on his arm rest and shared his sandwich with me.
Egypt Train travel
and here’s some more… “In August 2010 my wife and I took the day train leaving from Cairo and it worked out just as it was detailed on this website and reported by others. If you find it useful, here’s another case study for your site.
We arrived at the train station at 07:15.
We heard the train pull into platform 8 around 07:30 and proceeded straight through the security checkpoint.
I was a little nervous with the large, blue signs saying “please present your ticket”, but no one was checking tickets and we were soon standing on platform 8.
The 1st class cars
were closer to us with the 2nd class cars further down the platform. An attendant was standing in the doorway and we enlisted the help of another Egyptian to get us seated on the train and gave him a bit of baksheesh for his efforts.
The train departed right on time and around Giza the conductor came through. We paid him 192 EP for the two of us.
We kept our seats the whole way and the train pulled into Luxor at 18:00.”
If you have any more feedback on the ‘restrictions’ issue, please email me.