|The Stars of Sandstone International Festival
Geoff's Trains has had a long and strong relationship with the Sandstone Heritage Trust. For a number of years we have shared the
experience as Sandstone has grown in stature and interest, whilst the other narrow gauge railways in South Africa have become unreliable or
have stopped running.
As the Sandstone Festivals developed, they showcased the heritage assets to those wishing to get a hands on experience running the railway
as well as driving traction engines, tractors, vintage cars and military vehicles. The festivals are now a major feature in the southern
hemisphere's industrial heritage scene. Growing numbers of visitors pass through the gates of each festival, held every two years. They are
not all dedicated heritage enthusiasts, many have discovered that Sandstone is the perfect place to experience a fascinating part of South
Africa that no other African holiday can match.
Geoff's Trains are delighted to act as exclusive sales agent for all International bookings, we see ourselves as part of the Sandstone team that
works tirelessly to make sure that every festival is better than the last one. Sandstone will continue to stage the festival, but Geoff's Trains will
be there with a hospitality area to make sure that all of our guests enjoy the unique atmosphere in comfort, and with confidence that there
needs are being attended to. With a large number of visitors, a five hour drive by coach from Johannesburg and limited quality accommodation
in the area, we have prepared a number of packages to satisfy your needs.
An option for everyone
Everyone has different interests. You may have visited South Africa and even Sandstone previously, and would like to spend as long as
possible at the festival. On the other hand, you may be making your first visit to South Africa and would like to see more of the country, visit great
cities, experience amazing vistas, some great wildlife and a few steam trains. All of our options are fully hosted, and Geoff's Trains
representatives will be available every day at Sandstone to help you get the most out of your stay.
The International Festival - do not miss a single day
03 to 12 April 2019
The Stars of Sandstone International Festival starts on 04 April 2019. Travel from Johannesburg on 03 April, ready to enjoy the first day. Leave
Sandstone on 12 April, either by coach back to Johannesburg or by chartered steam train to Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Johannesburg. Your
package will include transfers, entry to the Sandstone festival, breakfast and accommodation.
See a more detailed programme here.
Two shorter visits if your time or budget are limited
03 to 08 April or 08 to 12 April 2019
We have two shorter options, the first of which leaves Johannesburg on 03 April and returns on 08 April, the second leaves Johannesburg on
08 April and leaves the Festival on 12 April, either by coach or steam train.
The festival programme will, as far as is feasible, be repeated for both shorter visits. The locomotives will be steamed at least twice, before
and after 08 April, if you choose to visit on one of these shorter packages you should see all of the main traction and activities but booking the
longer package will offer you better photographic opportunities as well as a chance to experience the many activities that take place throughout
Something special for photographers
Sandstone is a photographer's paradise. Good weather,great scenery and a proliferation of interesting subjects will keep your camera shutter
clicking all day long. To maximise photographic opportunities for more serious photographers, a special package has been created that
includes access to a railway photo session between sunrise and breakfast with selected locomotives and a specialist runpast organiser.
These morning sessions happen before the festival opens at 10 am and will only be accessible to pre-booked participants. There will be
other benefits including convenient accommodation options and afternoon photo sessions. Bookings are limited to 50, first come first served
and early booking is strongly recommended.
Find out more here.
Do you want to be an active participant?
Sandstone is a working farm with a small team dedicated to the maintenance and development of their heritage assets. There is no
permanent support group that can be mobilised to operate the extensive railway, numerous traction engines, farming machinery, vintage cars
and much more. Active participants travel from countries as far afield as Australia, Britain, Belgium, Germany and America to help keep the
festival moving. If you have the necessary skills and would like to get your hands dirty, you may be able to join them.
Find more information here.
The Family Festival
12 to 14 April 2019
It is hardly surprising that the Sandstone festival is popular with South Africans who travel from far and wide to see their heritage. To
accommodate their special interests a Stars of Sandstone Family Festival will be held between 12 and 14 April. You are most welcome to stay
on for this more family orientated event that will feature activities aimed at the kids. Geoff's Trains is happy to assist with tickets,
accommodation and transfers.
Turn your Sandstone visit into a great African holiday
Geoff's Trains is offering a number of post tour activities that can turn your Sandstone visit into a more inclusive African experience. These
include a special mainline steam train and a hosted visit to Victoria Falls featuring a tram ride to the famous bridge over the Zambezi River.
This will be followed by a safari par-excellence on the Chobe River in Botswana with one of Africa's foremost photo safari companies.
A charter train from Johannesburg to Bethlehem and the Stars of Sandstone Family Festival
10 to 14 April 2019
The train will leave the Reefsteamers Germiston depot on the morning of 11 April, bound for Bethlehem. It will be possible to join on the
afternoon of 10 April with secure parking available at the depot. It is anticipated that the train will be hauled between Germiston and Bethlehem
by a diesel electric locomotive. You will have sleeper accommodation on the train and there will be a traditional Braai (barbecue) that evening.
Travel from Germiston to Bethlehem on 11 April, arriving late afternoon. Spend the night in your compartment on the train. On 12 April, travel by
coach to Sandstone for the start of the Family Festival. That evening, transfer to your accommodation for the next two nights. Entry to the Stars of
Sandstone Family Festival is included as is a coach transfer back to Germiston on the afternoon of 14 April.
The train can also be used to extend a journey on the Bethlehem to Germiston steam charter, making the journey a 7 night charter train
A steam operated charter train from Bethlehem visiting Sandstone, Bloemfontein and Kimberley
12 to 17 April 2019
Our five day steam train charter that includes runpasts in some of South Africa's best scenery as well as visits to Bloemfontein and the
Sandstone railway workshops and the national heritage steam collection, Kimberley and the Big Hole museum, station railway museum and
Steamnet 2000 steam collection and Germiston, the photogenic Reefsteamers depot. The train will be operated by a Class 12AR locomotive,
built by North British in 1919. This is an excellent way to end your Sandstone visit. Accommodation on the train is limited and early booking is
Find out more about the steam trains here.
Victoria Falls and some wildlife
We have been asked to include a hosted visit to Victoria Falls and are delighted to do so. Spend three nights at the Falls, including a hosted
tour of the Victoria Falls, a tram ride to the famous Bridge, a sunset boat cruise and an optional dinner steam train ride before either flying
home or crossing the border to Botswana for a three night wildlife Safari on the Chobe River. The tour can be booked on two different dates to
accommodate the rest of your tour.
Find out more here
Find answers to some commonly asked questions here
|Page updated on
19 March 2018
|Can Agents book groups?
Absolutely, talk to Geoff, he will
work with you to prepare a package
suited to your clients. You can
maintain your identity, have your
own group manager and still take
advantage of Geoff's Trains
Smaller groups are also welcome,
we can make sure that you have
the right accommodation, your
group stays together during
transfers and they can enjoy a
consistent level of service at
|Tell me about Sandstone
Sandstone are very good at
sending newsletters and
information, they have an
interesting website with maps,
photos, videos on u-tube, stock
lists and much more.
Find out more here
|Unser Generalagent für
unsere Gäste aus dem
Bahnreisen Sutter ist unser
deutscher Repräsentant für das
Sandstone Festival einschl.
Über Bahnreisen Sutter können
Sie die einzelnen Reiseprogramme
für das Sandstone Festival
buchen. Bahnreisen Sutter freut
sich Ihnen die Reise zu diesem
einmaligen Kultur- und
Eisenbahnfestival zu organisieren.
Über diesen Link gelangen Sie
zur Homepage von Bahnreisen
|Our American agent
Nevada based Trains and Travel
International are assisting us with
American sales. If you book
through them, you are still
welcome to ask contact Geoff's
Trains with any queries
The Trains and Travel website can
be found here.
Geoff's Trains Ltd are a British tour
operator well positioned to accept
bookings from all countries.
However, you are also welcome to
contact Oxfordshire based PTG
Tours who offer all of our tours,
particularly the 2019 Africa season.
PTG offer packages that include
flights, something that Geoff's
Trains does not do.
PTG can be found here.