NRZ awaits govt nod on commuter trains

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) says it is waiting for a government directive to re-introduce its fleet of commuter trains to service Bulawayo and Harare.

This comes as commuters in the country’s two major cities have been battling with transport challenges as Zupco struggles to cope with increased demand.
The rail transport provider was forced to ground its commuter trains in March following a government directive, as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“We are prepared that anytime that the government eases the measures, we should be able to come back. I cannot give the exact date, but we can only be guided by the government.
“I am sure the government has been looking into the issue and they want us to provide transport for both Harare and Bulawayo,” NRZ spokesperson Nyasha Maravanyika told the Daily News.
Before the lockdown, the NRZ used to ply five routes, three in Harare and two in Bulawayo. Maravanyika said the parastatal was busy working on bringing back the commuter trains to service all its previous routes.
“Our teams are working on the fleet to see if our coaches can be worked on and be refurbished and see if they will be enough to cover all the five routes.
“On average, we will need eight to 10 coaches per trip. So that will be an average of 40 to 50 coaches for all the five routes. This means we will need 20 coaches to cover Bulawayo,” he said.
Maravanyika, however, indicated that when the commuter trains finally return, the fares will be reviewed in line with other public transporters “but as usual our charges will be among the most affordable”.

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