Most of the travelers will opt for sleeper night train if they planned to go Aswan from Cairo. We had chosen a different route, well it’s still a train but a second class local train. There were no other foreigners through out the journey. I’ll share the following yay and nay of taking local train.
Yay –> ticket can be purchased online, cost is less than USD 8 per pax ( sleeper night train is USD 100 per pax), seat is comfortable, traveling with locals meaning you will be able to communicate with them.
Nay –> lack of privacy, cold and windy (no heater even for winter), noisy and toilet cleanness.
Our train suppose to depart from Cairo at 7pm, arriving Aswan the next day at 9am. In fact, the departure was 7.40pm and arrival was next day after 12pm. The delayed was more than 3 hours.
Despite of all the nay effect, we did enjoy our ride. We encountered a group of street kids trying to get money from us, the locals request those kids to stay away. They also helped to translate some of the train announcements as we couldn’t understand Arabic. They made our journey warm and safe.
There were hot drinks selling every 1-2 hours, it always good to have a cup of hot coffee/tea on hand when the temperature outside was in between 1-3 degrees. There weren’t any blanket nor heater provided, a thick winter jacket is required.