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Passenger train gone for good?

Staff Writer
Botswana Railways (BR) has consistently made losses of about P30 million per annum with its passenger service accounting for less than 10 percent of the railways operating revenues.

Minister of Works and Transport Johnnie Swartz said this in Parliament when responding to Mahalapye East Member of Parliament (MP) Botlhogile Tshireletso's question yesterday.

Tshireletso had asked if Swartz was aware that BR has put passenger train carriages and locomotives up for sale and whether he would not consider re-introducing the passenger train as requested by the public and MPs.

"Mr speaker I am aware that Botswana Railways has put passenger train carriages and locomotives up for sale in order to unlock tied revenue," the minister said.However, the coaches are also said to have been

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in an unsafe condition and were not suitable for service. "The coaches were long overdue for overhaul, which was meant to address issues arising out of wear and tear and the replacement of safety critical components to ensure that the coaches were in good running order.

This is the reason why the coaches were deemed unsafe and had to be taken off the main line," Swartz said. 

He concluded by saying his ministry was not in a position to say whether or not the passenger service would be re-introduced in future.



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