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Cairo by train

Cairo by train

Cairo's main railway station - Ramses Station (Mahattat Ramses) - is on Midan Ramses, which is also the location of the Martyrs Metro Station. Trains run to Cairo from most other regions and cities within Egypt. Trains in Egypt don’t generally run on schedule, as a matter of fact they run consistently at least 15 minutes late, if not later. Train service is available from Ramses Station to Alexandria, while service to Luxor and Aswan is available at the Giza Railway Station. Visitors wishing to connect with trains to Luxor , Aswan , and the rest of upper Egypt should take the Metro from Midan Ramses Mubarak Metro Station , on line one to Giza Metro-Train Station which should take approximately twenty minutes. Trains also depart to the canal cities, but buses are much faster. It is best to purchase tickets in advance to be assured of a seat. It is also important for travelers to ensure with the ticket office that the train is not a local train used by Egyptians to visit all of the small destinations south wards in the Nile Valley , but only the major cities. For comfort visitors should also preferably insist on a first class seat but nothing less than a second class . Online ticket purchases are not available, so you need to either go to the train station and buy your ticket there or go through a travel agency who can arrange this for you ahead of time. Especially in the summer months, trains running between Cairo and Alexandria do sell out, so advance purchase is advised. Sometimes it is possible to buy train tickets in the morning, for a train later the same day or if not busy, you might get on the next train. There are multiple windows for different classes and destinations, so check that you are in the correct line. There is a luggage room in the station, situated on your right of the entrance. The price of one box is 2.5 pounds/24 hours. Alexandria is served by a large number of departures through the day. Among the best trains are El-Espani (Spanish) which has a morning service from Cairo at 9AM. El-Espani and Turbine (Turbo) are the best services, going non-stop to Alexandria and taking 2 hours and 40 min. The next best service is Al-Fransawi (French), which stops at the major Delta cities on the road. The Express (French) and Turbo trains to Alexandria have first and second class, all air conditioned. Refreshments are available for purchase on the train. First class is recommended, but second class is also reasonably comfortable. Trains heading to Luxor, Aswan, and other Upper Egypt destinations also depart from the rail station in Giza. The Sleeping Trains (Abela Egypt) leave Cairo 8PM and arriving in Luxor 5.05AM and Aswan 8.15AM. There also is a 9:10PM departure from Cairo. Check the website for more departures, including one three days a week from Alexandria. It's relatively expensive at 60 USD for a bed in a double-person cabin one way. Tickets are bought at the office to your left as you enter the train station from the Metro and taxi station. The tickets are payable in US dollars, Euros, or British Pounds only. There are no exchange offices at the train station itself. It is also possible to make reservations in advance, by calling or faxing your request to Abela, and then pay for and pick up your tickets at the station. Since these trains are designated for tourists, you will stay in special cars guarded by armed plain-clothes policemen. Going to Upper Egypt, the alternative to the expensive sleeper (or flying) is the ordinary trains. One of these departs at 00.30 to Luxor and Aswan and is supposed to take 10 hours to Luxor and 13 hours to Aswan. Ramsis Station Tel. +202 25753555

The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Cairo

Learn Eastern Arabic numerals

Eastern Arabic numerals, instead of Arabic-Hindu numerals as used in the west, are used to indicate train numbers, departure times, seat numbers, and other key information. You may need to ask for help. The ticket agent or other friendly person might write the departure time in Arabic-Hindu numerals for you, though you may still need help finding your train car and seat. Or, you can use this chart below of Eastern Arabic numerals in the top table below to guide you.

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Cairo Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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