Trains transforming travel in Africa
Few modes of transport evoke a sense of history and romanticism as rail. Africa’s first network of railways was started in Alexandria, Egypt in 1852. Today, fast-growing economies across the continent are upgrading rail infrastructure to support improved regional trade and transit. So today we look at a few railway systems that are changing the African travel system for various reasons.
Kenya: Nairobi to Mombasa by rail
Rail is the future of Africa’s industrialization; No wonder, the launch of the railway from Mombasa to Nairobi in 2017 was embraced with an overwhelming happiness. The benefits that accrue from its construction seem to far outweigh the concerns. Within just a week after its launch on May 31st 2017, over 7000 people had been transported on the Madaraka Express with foreign tourists making a large number of the people buying the train tickets.
Morocco: Inaugurates Africa’s fastest train
In November, after seven years of work on the high-speed railway line, King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated Africa’s fastest train which will halve travelling time between the commercial and industrial hubs of Casablanca and Tangier. The train, planned to run at 320 km per hour, reduced the journey from almost 5 hours to around two hours. It is about twice as fast as South Africa’s high-speed Gautrain.
Blue Train: The Blue Jewel of South Africa
The iconic Blue Jewel of South Africa, recently, walked away with Africa’s Leading Luxury Train accolade at the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala 2018. The train includes all-inclusive coursed meals and beverages, butler service, stopover excursions and after-dinner premium cigars served in their ritzy Club Car. The recognition awarded to the Blue Train, 10 years running, affirms that there is a place for luxury rail travel in Africa’s tourism landscape.@NyashaKMutizwa