Rovos Rail Introduction

                                                                                                                                                                               Rovos Rail was started in 1986 by Rohan Vos. Rohan Vos wanted to establish his own railway company for a simple reason - to fulfill his lifelong dream of traveling to Kruger National Park to seek out wildlife with his family by train. Just like many English folks living at the time, the passion for steam train runs thick in Rohan Vos' blood.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Rohan Vos enjoyed a thriving business with automobile accessories in South Africa and he became a very successful South African merchant. However, he has not forgotten his dream all these years. Vos is constantly surrounded by a group of close friends who share the same passion for locomotives, and all they ever talk about was trains. Vos began to collect old train cars and started to plan the train journey of his dream with his family and friends. However, the authorities in the South African government were bureaucratic, and this has hindered Vos' plans time and again. Vos turned his attention to securing his own locomotive. At the end of 1986, Vos found a Class 19D locomotive built by Borsig in 1938 at a scrap metal yard. He was thrilled by the discovery and he purchased the engine immediately to commence a series of repair and restoration. Vos named the locomotive "Bianca", after his favorite daughter. Not long after, Vos managed to obtain a license to operate his railway company from the government. When his proposal to name the company as "Springbok Steam Safari" was turned down by the government, Vos came up with the idea to combine his first and last names and called his new company "Rovos Rail".
During its teething stage as a young company, Rovos Rail has seen a fair share of fascinating stories. For instance, Vos came across an old train car that was about to be disposed and torn apart as firewood in Nelspruit (capital of Mpumalanga) one day in 1986. The fine decorations and ornaments in the car had already received varying extent of damages and Vos immediately asked the workers to cease the destruction immediately. He purchased the unfortunate car and invited local experts to appraise his new discovery. The experts were very surprised at the sight of the car and informed Vos that it was an antique car built way back in 1903; if it wasn't for Vos, the car would end up as a pile of useless lumber. And that is how old cars were salvaged from around the world by Vos to be repaired and restored by the skilled craftsmen. These cars became the antique vessels of five-star hotel grade facilities and amenities under Vos' possession. Owning three full sized trains, Rohan Vos has become the world's number one collector of trains. Consequently, Vos promptly gave up his other business ventures to become fully devoted to the railway empire he has built. At the same time, he purchased four aircraft from the US Air Force and renovated the planes into luxury passenger aircrafts to complement the routes covered by the rail tracks. Because of Rovos Rail's extensive collection and 21 distinctive traits, America's National Geographic Magazine rated Rovos Rail as one of the ten most luxurious cruise trains of the world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Rohan Vos also gave a fitting name to the train empire he has built - Pride of Africa. Due to his insistence on offering the most comfortable train ride that one could only dream of, each coach of the train can only accommodate two suites (each occupying over 10 square meters in size). The entire train may house no more than 72 passengers. Within less than two decades, the Pride of Africa has become synonymous to "luxurious cruise train" and attracts passengers from Europe, US, Japan and prominent local travelers (along with occasional couples seeking romantic experience). Rohan Vos believes that every passenger to take the Pride of Africa is a friend of his who share the same love for Africa and trains. This is why Vos has made it a point to fly from Cape Town to Pretoria to personally great each passenger and address them prior to a train's departure, even until today. As far as Rohan Vos is concerned, Rovos Rail is everything to him.


Links:South African Tourism | Rovos Rail | Sun City Hotel | Blue Train
Contact Us 2012 Rock Sun Travel.All Rights Reserved.