train.jpgThe National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) says it has engaged financial and technical partners in its efforts to recapitalise its infrastructure which has outlived its lifespan.

The NRZ, which has been struggling to renew its ageing fleet and improve its infrastructure, has engaged financial partners and is in the process of securing a US$29 million credit facility which will see the parastatal rehabilitating its ageing fleet and upgrade the infrastructure.

NRZ General Manager, Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai said since 2004, plans have been in the pipeline to recapacitate the railway company.

He said although there were challenges with regards to raising 10% of the US$100 million that was required to pay for locomotives and wagons, a much better deal of US$29 million has been struck and the 10% deposit has already been paid.

He said under normal circumstances the locomotives and wagons should not exceed 25 years.

However, the current situation is that the trains have outlived their lifespan as they are about 50 or 60 years old.

“The infrastructure as well has not made it easy for the struggling railway company as currently there are 66 potholes along the Harare-Bulawayo road,” he said.

Due to its poor infrastructure and poor quality service, the NRZ has been reduced to a means of transport for the poor.

However, railway transport is crucial for any economic transformation since it can carry bulky goods. It is also a preferred choice of transport for tourists.