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NRZ runs first steam train of the year for lovers

by Staff reporter
12 Feb 2022 at 16:37hrs | Views
LOVERS are in for a treat this Sunday as the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Rail Leisure Unit will run its first steam train of the year to Figtree to help celebrate Valentine's Day.

The NRZ says it is taking advantage of the country's relaxed Covid-19 restrictions to offer lovers a unique experience. The train will leave Bulawayo on Sunday at 9AM and is expected back in the evening at 6PM.

Valentine's Day is on Monday February 14.

NRZ acting spokesperson Martin Banda said this was part of their drive to diversify their tourism products.

"The NRZ will be celebrating that momentous occasion by running various Steam Train excursions throughout the year such as this Valentine Sashay.

"Furthermore, in response to global tourism trends and tourism growth, NRZ has embarked on a drive to diversify their product offering. NRZ has proved that they are ready to walk the talk through re-introduction of steam train safaris in and around Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Harare.

"The safaris have quickly become a hit among domestic tourists who are keen on calm activities to engage in with their families," he said.

Banda said due to the fact that this year's Valentine's Day is falling on a Monday, NRZ has decided to run the steam train on Sunday to give as many lovers as possible a chance to express their affection for each other in a relaxed environment.

He said the Valentine's Day steam train will depart Bulawayo at 9am and will take travellers from Bulawayo to Figtree and back.

"The train will also provide steam train enthusiasts with an opportunity to see the Garratt Locomotive in action.

"At Figtree, passengers will disembark from the train and walk to Redwood Leisure Centre where lunch and drinks have been arranged. It will leave Figtree for the return trip at 3.30PM and arrive in Bulawayo at 5.30PM Hours," said Banda.

He said fares are pegged at US$25 for adults and US$13 for children in compartments while the dining cars will cost US$20 for adults and US$10 for children.

Banda said those who pay for four people will get one ticket free and said fares do not include braai packs and drinks, which will be on sale separately.

"The NRZ steam trains are run to promote domestic tourism through train excursions targeting enthusiasts who have interest in locomotives of a by-gone era and the general public as they provide that rare opportunity for selfies and other pictures.

"The steam train excursions have attracted a good response from the general public unlike in the past when mostly steam train enthusiasts were the main passengers," he said.

NRZ runs a number of leisure trains like the Safari to the Kuimba Shiri Bird Park (Harare); Steam Train Party (Harare) and Mother's and Father's Day Run (Bulawayo), Family Fun Day to Plumtree among others were all sold out before.

Rail Leisure promotes domestic tourism using steam locomotives and museum coaches which have been preserved to ensure quality and affordable ride for passengers.

Zimbabwe's first locomotive arrived in Bulawayo from Vryburg, South Africa in 1897, and since then rail transport has been an option to many locals and cargo carriers.

Source - The Chronicle