“The journey was very pleasant and I have arrived safely. The sitting arrangements, setting in the mobile restaurant and security features are of a very high standard. I’m still going to use the same mode of transport when I go back home in a few days’ time.” These are the words of Grace Tlou from Musina. Tlou is one of the first people to board the first passenger train from Musina to Gauteng after the service was discontinued four years ago.
When addressing invited guests before the train departed for Gauteng, Cllr Jeremiah Khunwana from Musina Municipality said the launch fits well into Musina Municipality’s vision of being the gateway city to the rest of Africa.
He added: “Imagine any major city without a public transport network. That city will automatically come to a halt. We can now all agree that one of the characteristics of a successful city is the availability of affordable, reliable and safe public transport network.”
He said the benefits and importance of reinstating the passenger service after it was withdrawn in 2014 will impact everyone, even those who may never board the train. “The service will help to foster a sense of unity. This is because people travelling together are more likely to feel a community connection than those travelling in isolation. We strongly believe that this passenger rail service will help to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by car accidents while at the same time providing accessible transport regardless of people’s demographics such as income or age. On the other hand, the use of this long distance train will reduce air pollution and road congestion because it will reduce the number of cars in our roads. As Musina Municipality, we whole-heatedly welcome and pledge our full support to the launch of this passenger train service.”
Main Line Passenger Services’ head of Marketing and Communications, Daisy Daniel said she has no doubt that the affordable prices, safety and the train’s user-friendly facilities will attract more people to make use of the new train passenger services. She also thanked the support from the political management team of Musina Municipality.