RICH HERITAGE RUNS
DEEP WITHIN THESE LINES.
RICH HERITAGE RUNS DEEP WITHIN THESE LINES.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram Story
The background story of Franschhoek Town, The Valley, The Line & The Tram.
The Cape is where the refugees were sent, on ships that were originally designed to carry cargo, and after a long and grueling trip, which lasted several months, they arrived on soil that was foreign to them, but a place they were ready to call home.
Franschhoek, or ‘Olifantshoek’, as it was then named for the herds of elephant that roamed the area, was where nine of these Huguenot families ultimately settled after having been given land by the Dutch authorities. Through determination and perseverance, they transformed the wilderness around them into one of the most beautiful valleys in the Cape, if not the world!
Breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine and fine wines. These are the hallmarks of the beautiful Franschhoek Valley in the heart of the Cape Winelands!
When the Huguenots first settled in this spectacular valley over 300 years ago, they brought with them their traditions and knowledge in winemaking and viticulture from their native France, and transformed the valley they now called ‘home’. This proud heritage can be seen and felt today in the Franschhoek Village and on the surrounding farms.
Today, the Franschhoek valley offers a variety of cellars, from small boutique wineries that cater for those in search of something unique, to large cellars that offer organised tours and tastings. Award-winning wines range from plump reds to elegant whites and delicious sparkling wines.
This longstanding tradition of winemaking is a perfect complement to the superb cuisine offered in any one of Franschhoek’s more than 40 restaurants. Franschhoek is now known as the Wine & Gourmet Capital of South Africa, and boasts many talented chefs, several who have been awarded the highest national and international culinary honours!
The tracks upon which the Franschhoek Wine Tram now runs, were originally built in 1904 to serve as an alternative to ox-drawn carts for farmers wanting to get their produce to market.
For many years, steam locomotives operated along the route until diesel locomotives took over in the 1970s, and then, in the 1990s, as the need for rail transport decreased, service along the railway line diminished. For more than a decade the railway line remained dormant until it was revived and returned to full-time service in 2012 as what we know and love today, the Franschhoek Wine Tram!
Each tram seats a maximum of 78 passengers on comfortable flip-over benches, allowing guests to enjoy views in both directions. The tram has a top speed of 32 km per hour, and a total weight of approximately 20 tons when fully loaded. The trams were proudly engineered and constructed in South Africa by DCD Rolling Stock.
May our unique story continue to unfold, and we’d love you to be a part of it!
Vas de l’avant
/Let’s keep going/
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