Steam Trains Back in Zimbabwe

Steam locomotives are back in Zimbabwe (pictured) after being upset for so many decades, desiels and electric trains are being used and a few steam trains running are used in tourist resorts like Victoria Falls and they are owned by private companies like the Victoria Falls Steam train which does trips to the amazing victoriafalls and across the border to Zambia.

Steam locomotives have proved very popular with tourists and this has prompted the National Railways of Zimbabwe to refurbish seven additional locomotives to bring the fleet of steam locomotives to 10, the parastatal’s public relations manager, Mr Fanuel Masikati, said yesterday.

In an interview, Mr Masikati said the locomotives were being used for rail leisure safari, targeting mainly tourists. Mr Masikati said the recent steam locomotive trial run from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls proved very popular with tourists.

“Our target was to have 200 passengers for the maiden trip from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls but we ended up with more than 300 as the trip was over subscribed. In response, we decided to refurbish additional locomotives to meet demand,” he said.

Mr Masikati said the rail leisure steam safari trains will be running on the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls, Bulawayo-Plumtree and Bulawayo-Mbalabala routes. “These trains will run on special days such as the Mother’s, Father’s, Valentine’s and family fun days,” he said.

Mr Masikati said introduction of the rail leisure steam safari trains was expected to generate additional business for the parastatal which in turn was going to increase revenue inflow. “Tourists and the general members of the public enjoy steam locomotives as evidenced by the overwhelming response we got for the maiden Bulawayo-Victoria Falls trip. We are receiving a lot of inquiries locally and internationally from individuals and families that want to take a ride on the trains.

Mr Masikati said the launch of the facility was yet to be confirmed. “Right now we are going to exhibit the rail leisure safari train at the Sanganai-Hlanganani travel expo which this year is going to be held in Harare. It is only after this that we will decide on the launch date,” he said.


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Oct 05, 2015
Zimbabwe: NRZ Infrastructure Now Dilapidated

NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) infrastructure in Bulawayo is now in dilapidated state following years of neglect and mismanagement.

NRZ which used to be one of the biggest companies in the country has fallen on hard times with workers going for more than a year without salaries.

Apart from affecting workers, the crisis at NRZ has also clearly taken its toll on the company's assets, now virtually derelict.

The parastatal's buildings such as the famous Raylton Sports Club and the marshalling yard and the company's clinic in Sizinda are now an eyesore.

The clinic which used to serve injured workers ceased operating several years ago and workers are now forced to fork out their own money to seek medication in private and government hospitals.

"We used to have one of the best health facilities in Sizinda where every worker could seek free medical care. Now that clinic has been vandalized and we are now being forced to seek medical help in private hospitals despite the fact that we are not being paid any money," said a worker who refused to be named for fear of victimization.

Workers said their plight has been worsened by the fact that the company has also been failing to remit their medical contributions to Railmed, the company's medical aid society.

The company's marshalling yard has diminished into a shadow of its former self as a result of reduced numbers of passengers and goods trains.

The Bulawayo marshalling yard used to be the nerve Centre of the country's rail network linking the country with Botswana and Zambia.

Most of the company's locomotives are now a heap of scrap metal while some of the disused wagons have been occupied by tramps.

Oct 05, 2015
What a tragedy
by: Anthony

It is so sad to read reports like this of how far the country has slipped. With proper governence and investement, it can be built up once again.

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