STEAM SPECIAL SAFARI LEISURE TRAIN TO CELEBRATE BULAWAYO’S 120 YEARS
The National Railways of Zimbabwe is running a rail steam safari train to re-enact the arrival of the first train in Bulawayo. The train will run from Bulawayo main station to Figtree on Sunday 1 June 2014, as part of its contribution and participation at the forthcoming City of Bulawayo’s historic celebrations for the 120 years anniversary.
In celebrating the 120 years in existence, the City of Bulawayo has lined up festivities that will be running until 31 December 2014. The main objective of the celebrations is to commemorate Bulawayo’s existence and in the process, recognize all key stakeholders that played and continue to play a pivotal role in molding the city into the grandeur that it is today. The list of those monumental stakeholders will not be complete without the mention and active participation of the NRZ in the celebrations whose first train arrived in Bulawayo on 4 November 1897.
It was just 117 years ago that the line from the south, bringing Bulawayo into rail communication with the outside world was officially opened. In turning the pages of railway history in Zimbabwe and in Bulawayo in particular as the first city of contact, an age defying steam train will haul the special Museum coaches, rekindling the memories of yesteryear.
The train is scheduled to depart from Bulawayo at 0900 hours with prominent government, civic leaders and captains of industry and commerce to arrive at Figtree at 1030 and back to Bulawayo main station at 1230 hours. Reminiscing the arrival of the first train in 1897, when it pulled in at the Bulawayo station conveying a large number of dignitaries, the commemoration train will be welcomed by a cheering crowd where more celebratory festivities will be lined up.
Those intending to catch a ride on this historic special train are advised to buy their tickets at the main station and the Bulawayo City Council offices at $30 per adult and $20 for children. The fare caters for refreshments on board and luncheon at the main station. On the day of travel people are expected to arrive at the Bulawayo station at 0800 hours to facilitate booking confirmations and also to contact the Bulawayo Reservation Office at the Bulawayo Station for further details and assistance.
It is pertinent to mention that the NRZ is providing efficient rail leisure steam safari trains, at a reasonable cost in order to cater for all classes of our society, from top business executives, leisure lovers and steam enthusiasts. The inclusion of this commemorative train run is evident of the prominence that the rail leisure steam safari trains are gaining.
The rail leisure steam safari train services were successfully run this year during the Valentine Day and Family Fun Day in Harare and the just ended Mother’s Day, where they proved their popularity with both local and overseas steam enthusiasts.
More steam safari trains are earmarked to be run this year as a way of promoting and contributing towards tourism growth in Zimbabwe. It is hoped that the move will indeed boost the tourism industry in the country, since Zimbabwe is one of the remaining countries in the world that still run and operate steam locomotives that are popular with international steam enthusiasts.
Furthermore, there will be lots of entertainment for your enjoyment and comfort. This is a special experience not to be missed by those intending to sample the comfort of rail leisure travel in a special way, while celebrating the City of Bulawayo’s 120 years. Come and sample this service and you will never regret, as it is destined to bring Bulawayo’s social, political and economic fabric together.