BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), through its Rail Leisure unit, has organised another Mother’s Day steam ride to honour mothers and present an opportunity for the public to experience a memorable train ride from Bulawayo to Plumtree and back.
NRZ spokesperson Nyasha Maravanyika yesterday said the steam train ride, set for May 18, would feature a 200km round trip from Bulawayo to Plumtree.
“The Mother’s Day steam train will give the public a unique way to honour the woman in their lives, while also presenting an opportunity for steam train enthusiasts and the general public to experience a memorable train ride in a relaxed atmosphere,” Maravanyika said in a statement.
He added that the steam train would depart from Bulawayo’s main station at 9am and was expected to roll back at 5:30pm.
He said fares would be pegged at RTGS$45 for adults and RTGS$25 for children.
“The fare can be paid in cash or through EcoCash. The fares do not include braai at Plumtree,” he said.
“A cash bar and light meals will be available for sale on the train, though passengers can bring cooler boxes and their own snacks.”
Maranyika said stops would be organised along the way for people keen to take pictures of the locomotive and scenic places, during which the train would perform run pasts for photographers to capture the best views.
“Families are being urged to come out in their numbers to enjoy this experience offered by Rail Leisure,” he said.
Rail Leisure promotes domestic tourism using steam locomotives and museum coaches.
Last year, however, the joyride turned into a nightmare after the steam locomotive failed to complete the return trip to Bulawayo, forcing some passengers to organise their own transport back home.
This was after the engine’s water pressure had suddenly dropped and failed to fill up the tank, which was also leaking.
The train eventually made the return leg with half of its passengers after many had found alternative transport back home.