I guess our round trip from Cairo to Alexandria very recently was quite comfortable. There is actually no hassle having the first class ticket which costs me a total of 243 Egyptian Pounds for 3 round trip tickets.
I posted here the interior of the train and copies of our 6 tickets. BTW, I purchased the ticket the night prior to our departure. I guess it is better although not too many passengers on the day of our trip on October 24, 2008.
I loved taking the train. It's air conditioned, relaxing, and if you take the turbo train, fast. It takes about 3 hours to go from Alexandria to Cairo on the regular train, and about 2 hours on the turbo.
From Cairo, I took the fastest train to Alex, on Turbini - the Italian-made fast-train that was supposed to be non-stop. However, the train does not seem to have its dedicated line (if anybody could confirm this), so it had to slow down as it approaches populated centers (which are quite many on the Nile Delta). So what was supposed to be a 2 1/2-hour trip took about 3 hours.
There are several (about 5?) Turbini trips from/to Cairo to/from Alex. I took the 8 AM trip, on which the first class section was already fully booked when I got my ticket about an hour and a half before the trip. 2nd class wasn't bad, although the seats and the overall condition of the coaches leave much to be desired.
Booking a seat on the Turbini at Cairo's Ramses Station is confusing. First class tickets are purchased from the booths inside the terminal (opposite the main entrance across the main terminal hall), while 2nd class tickets are sold at another window outside the terminal (to your left from the 1st class ticket booths. For non-Arabic speaking first timers, this is a bit confusing, since the person at information booth is virtually useless. To add to the confusion, the tickets are printed in Arabic only, so you need a local's help to decode that oh so necessary the information in your ticket. One-way 2nd class ticket to Alex costs EGP 25 (~USD 4.50) as of May 2007.
Once reaching Alex, the first main station is Sidi Gaber, an equally busy station at Alex's eastern suburb. The train proceeds to the last stop - Alex's main station - Masr Station, a few minutes later. Unlike Ramses, I found Masr to be less confusing as tickets for the Turbini (for both classes) could be bought from a single location.
Train is a swift mean of transportation to Alexandria from different Egyptian directions .
Teminals are two in Alexandria:
1) Sidi Gaber which is close to the southern areas (or Raml i.e. "sand in Arabic" implying areas close to sea shore).
2) Tahreer Square Terminal which is close the Western areas. (Near to main arhaeological sites e.g. Kom El Decca, Pompey's Pillar and Catacombs).
many many buses or trains to and from cairo.Do not believe taxi drivers who will propose a cheap drive for 500$ by taxi;they will assure you that there is no bus,or that tourists are not allowed to travel by train ; be careful if you drive, the traffic is crazy
There are several trains that you can take from Alexandria to Cairo, but only the Tourbine train takes only 2 hours. The Spanish one takes 2:45 mins. Be sure you get the tickets for Tourbine train. The 1st/2nd ticket is 34 / 25 EGP (May 2006). The 2nd class is as good as the first class of other trains. Drinks and food are available for purchase on board. see the following for the train schedule: http://www.osoris.com/seating_train_services.htm
Trains leave from Ramses Station in Cairo several times a day [ about every to minutes] . For a day trip catch an early train. We normally take the 9am train and return by the 7pm train. It allows a nice day trip if you cannot stay longer.
First class tickets cost 34 EP each way, so a round trip is about 7 $.
The first class coach is comfortable enough for the 2-2 and a half hour trip, and enables you to see much of the Delta region : farming areas, small towns. The degree of comfort depends on the train. We went on a Spanish train which was excellent,and came back on a different [Hungarian?] train which was older and shabbier, and less plush.
A trolley service is available and a cup of tea tea and a Nescafe together cost 7.5 EP.
Be sure that you take an express and not one of the slower trains that stop at several stations.
Get off at Sidi Jaber station rather than the main terminus as it is more central.
My husband and I,along with my 2 years old daughter(back then)took the train to go to Alex.
We bought the 1st class tickets,seats and cabin was clean,you can buy a snak from a walking trolly pushed by a nice old guy who offerd my kid a lolly pop for free.
We took a regular train from Cairo to Alexandria very early in the morning (4:40 am) as our plane arrived at about 3 am and we didn't want to waste too much time in Cairo just waiting at the trainstation. This regular train we took TO Alex cost EGP 18 per person but was dirty and felt unsafe a little bit (not technically but in terms of the fellow travellers).
We were lucky to have a driver, as even the information displays at the station can not be easily understood because of the arabic letters AND arabic numbers, so You can't even read the time and platform of Your train... (check the other photo!)
The other way we took an "A/C" train with air conditioning and fair service level, on first class, which cost us EGP 34 per/person. That train was clean, full of businessmen and more comfortable than the other one.
I think it's worth waiting for an "A/C" train and spend that extra money on the ticket!
Cairo - Alexandria
Arriving to Cairo in the morning with the night train from Luxor I and Rebecka from England, who travelled the same way as me, did not stay but went on to Alexandria. The 1st class tickets for Alexandria were finished so we got seats in 2nd class and the train was leaving in about an hour. The ticket was 16 pounds. In 2nd class the seats are made of a plastic material and they can be turned around to always face the direction of the train. A man walked through the train with a small carriage selling tea, coffee and snacks. I don’t remember the price of the tea but it was more expensive than in 3rd class. It takes about 3 hours to go from Cairo to Alexandria by train. In Alexandria the train first stops at Sidi Gaber Station were a lot of people will get off. We continued to the main station Masr station.
Alexandria - Cairo
We were five foreigners coming with the bus to Alexandria from Siwa and we were all going on to Cairo. Luckily the bus station is near to Sidi Gaber Station. Arriving to the station we asked a guard for the next train to Cairo and he said it was leaving next hour. But we guessed there was one going within a few minutes and hurried to the platform were we found a train to Cairo and jumped on. We came into 3rd class and were all lucky to get seats. The ticket could be bought on the train and was 10 pounds. The seats were not uncomfortable at all but better than 2nd class in my opinion (because the material they were not made of). Two men walked around selling tea, and it was cheaper than 2nd class. In Cairo the train stops at Ramses Station.
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