20 Aug 2010
Set on a slightly elevated stand of 987sqm, “Trix se Trein” is across the road from the beach.
This home includes and is built around a train coach (actually half a first-class coach and a whole second-class coach for personnel), originally bought at an auction (together with four others) to be used in a TV series directed by Dirk de Villiers. The whole series took place in the coaches, and when it finished, Trix bought one of them.
The interior of the coach is all Burmese teak, with original fixtures and fittings.
“Trix began her train house in 1976 and it took over a year to complete. It was one of the first houses in Pringle Bay,” says MD of Seeff Pringle Bay, John du Toit.
The coach was transported by road from Franschhoek, and came along the Gordon’s Bay coastal road before it was tarred. “This part of the journey alone took a whole day, and Trix has a movie of this which will be put on to DVD for the buyer of this property.
“The coach house was designed by architect Chris de Hart, who was involved in the restoration of Long Street in Cape Town to its original state. The only craftsmen qualified enough to work with the solid Burmese teak interior were Malay master carpenters from Cape Town - they did all the woodwork without electricity since there was none in Pringle Bay in those days. The original teak and leather was used to make built-in cupboards and fittings and transform the coach into a home. Even the kitchen fridge is covered with leather.
“Trix and her friends spent several years going to auctions to buy original SA Railways fittings and fixtures and various loose items. For example, the house has an original teak waiting bench from some station, two teak chairs from a station waiting room, and lamps from trains are used as lighting. Over the years most of the who’s who in the acting field as well as artists have visited Trix and spent nights there. The house, like its owner, is an icon – and has lots of history.”
This unique home consists of a single garage, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and dining area (with original dining table), and enclosed veranda with indoor braai. There is a walk-in closet (one of the single compartments), and the home runs on electricity, apart from the gas-heated water geyser.
“Besides making an unusual holiday home for someone, especially if they have kids, it will make an excellent investment for some entrepreneur to make substantial holiday/weekend rental income, as it is sure to prove very popular among tourists,” says Du Toit.
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