The Ministry of Transport and Communications has finally decided to re-introduce the passenger train from March this year. Government discontinued the passenger train in 2009 citing poor business.
Passengers complained of rowdiness and discomfort in the previous train but that will be a thing of the past come March this year. The Botswana Railways Public Relations Officer (PRO), Kebabonye Morewagae disclosed in an interview that the train will come with a completely new look and ambiance.
It will be fully air-conditioned with the provision for WIFI inside. “Starting with the sitting arrangement, a lot has actually changed. People will not sit facing each other anymore, and the chairs will be very comfortable,” he said.
The spokesperson further revealed that there would be a catering company inside to serve passengers. However, the bar has been cancelled this time around. He said to avoid overcrowding they have come up with a luggage van. “Bags will have a fee as they will be weighed and priced according to their weight,” said Morewagae.
He revealed that they will start with the night train and later introduce the day train. “The daylight train will, at least for now, operate only on busy days” disclosed Morewagae. There will be full security in and out of the train, “No one will step inside the train without a ticket,” he emphasised.
Compared to the previous train this one will travel at 100km/h. The PRO also noted that there will be six stop destinations; Lobatse, Gaborone, Mahalapye, Palapye, Serule and Francistown. Morewagae also disclosed that the train will have a corridor service ‘Blue Mark’. “The blue mark has been there all along this time its couch will be attached to the passenger train,” he said.
The blue mark will deliver goods freely to people’s residential plots, he explained.