THE Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry is planning to introduce an electric train between Mutare and Harare in a move that is set to boost tourism in the Eastern Highlands.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Transport minister Joram Gumbo revealed the plans on Friday after touring the National Railway of Zimbabwe (NRZ) department in Mutare, where he said that his ministry was also fighting vandalism of railway infrastructure across the country.
“We want to reintroduce the passenger train and there are plans to have it electrified. We are also fighting vandalism of NRZ equipment. We also have plans to bypass Christmas Pass so haulage trucks do not use that route,” he said.
There have been calls to bypass Christmas Pass as many lives have been lost on the precarious road after haulage trucks fail to negotiate curves, or lose brakes and hurtle down the steep slope into Mutare.
“We are also looking at the Vumba and Montclair roads. We want all roads to be in good shape in the province,’’ he said.
Speaking at the NRZ tour, Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the new electric passenger train would decongest roads bringing stability in the transport sector and boost employment.
“We know the importance of an electrified railway line, it’s not only good for Manicaland, but for the entire country. The projects will decongest roads and this will reduce road carnage,” she said.
“It is cheaper to carry our goods by a train, so this will reduce prices of some commodities.’’