BY SILAS NKALA
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) yesterday announced that it would resume its Majestic Steam Safari trains for the Plumtree to Bulawayo route after a two-year break.
In a statement, NRZ acting spokesperson Martin Banda said the parastatal would be running a steam train on Unity Day, (December 22) to add flavour to this year’s festive season.
“The train will run from Bulawayo to Plumtree. It will be pulled by a Garratt Locomotive, which is one of the few remaining such locomotives still running in the world and is still in good condition. It leaves Bulawayo Station at 8:45am and is expected to arrive in Plumtree at 1:15pm.
“In Plumtree, passengers will have an opportunity to have a braai at the station before the train returns to Bulawayo arriving at 6:30pm. Fares for the steam train will range from US$30 for adults and US$15 for children in first class coaches, and US$25 for adults and $13 for children in dining coaches.”
Banda said fares for economy class coaches will be $16 for adults and $8 for children. He said as a compliment when one pays for four people, they will get an extra ticket for free.
“A cash bar will be available on the train and passengers can also bring cooler boxes at no extra charge. COVID-19 health protocols such as wearing of masks, sanitising hands and social distancing will be observed. Temperature readings will be taken when boarding the train and those with a fever will not be allowed on board it.
“Riding on the steam train is not only for steam train enthusiasts, but it is also for members of the general public wishing to have a Unity Day holiday trip with a difference. The steam train is run by NRZ’s Rail Leisure Unit as part of a drive to promote domestic tourism and attract international tourists through train excursions.”
“Besides attracting train enthusiasts from all over the world, the NRZ train excursions are gradually being received by domestic tourists and local corporates. NRZ is urging families to come out in numbers to enjoy this experience offered by Rail Leisure, which promotes domestic tourism using steam locomotives and museum coaches which have been preserved to ensure quality and affordable rides for passengers.”
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