Between Alexandria and Cairo, Turbo trains are the fastest form of transport (average journey time is two to three hours), and tickets for these services cost £E52 for first class and £E29 for second class. There are three types of trains: Turbini, Spanish, and French. The Turbini takes two hours and 10 minutes, the Spanish two hours and 20 minutes, and the French takes three hours, although trains often run late.
Currently, Turbini trains depart from Cairo at 8 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm; Spanish trains at 9 am, noon, 5 pm, and 10:30 pm; and the French trains at 6 am, 8:30 am, 11 am, 3:10 pm, 4 pm, and 8 pm. From Alexandria Turbini at 8 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm; Spanish trains at 7 am, 3 pm, 7:30 pm, and 10:15 pm; and French trains at 6 am, 8:15 am, 11 am, 3:30 pm, 5 pm, and 8 pm.
Trains also travel between Cairo and Upper Egypt. From Cairo to Luxor, a one-way ticket is £E90 in first class and £E46 in second class; from Cairo to Aswan it's £E109 in first class and £E55 in second. First class offers you more space, and you have a choice of traveling during the day or at night. For night trains, foreigners sometimes only have the option of riding first class, so if the train is fully booked, you might not find a seat. Buy your tickets one day in advance. Considerably more comfortable sleeper cars run by private company Abela make the daily trip to and from Luxor and Aswan. Buy your tickets far in advance (at least one week). Fares are in U.S. dollars, and the price is $60 per person each way in a double compartment.
For exact schedules and ticket prices, inquire and purchase tickets a few days before departing at the main Ramses train station in Cairo.
Abela. Ramses Train Station, 02/2574–9474; www.sleepingtrains.com.