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Famous south African steam train futures hangs in the balance



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 28th, 2009, 09:32 AM posted to rec.travel.africa,alt.railroad
kilos[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Famous south African steam train futures hangs in the balance

Latest news from South Africa, is that the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe - one
of the last few operational steam trains in South Africa will run for
another 3 months until a viable business solution can be attained,as
Transnet are selling off or rather ridding themselves of all non
profit and non core business divisions. Running costs $80k per month.

The train use to run between George and Knysna but due to floods years
ago the line was washed away in sections and the repair cost is
$13million for that bill, Spoornet does have insurance for that but it
seems like it is not in their business interests to use.

If you look on one of the views or in the Photo Gallery of the on the
http://midafricam.co.za web site you can see the decay of the railway
line across the famous Kaaimans curved railway bridge built in 1928.

http://www.theherald.co.za/gardenrou...aspx?id=404285 The
Herald Newspaper
THE Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe was thrown a lifeline yesterday – but only for
three months while plans are considered to save the popular tourist
attraction.

Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Garth
Strachan assured staff yesterday that the steam train would be kept
running until the end of June.

The Transnet Heritage Museum in George, which operates the iconic
steam engine, was threatened with closure at the end of this month
until Strachan stepped in. He initiated high-level talks to keep
operations going for three more months while a committee tasked with
finding ways to save the Choo- Tjoe completed its report.

Earlier this week, staff morale was at an all-time low.

However, Nichol Marais, the owner of a scenic rail experience in
motorised rail cars from the museum, said yesterday it wasn‘t only the
staff, but that the whole tourism industry was disappointed with the
slow progress being made in deciding the Choo-Tjoe‘s fate.

Strachan said the uncertainty was regrettable and he sympathised with
the workers. His department was doing everything possible to save the
Choo-Tjoe.

“At the moment, the George to Mossel Bay train costs R800000 a month
to run, this is not a small amount and that is why we got a private
company in to assess the (various) recommendations,” he said,
referring to recommendations by a steering committee looking at ways
of saving the Choo-Tjoe.

The train used to run between Knysna and George but the route was
changed to George–Mossel Bay after the rail line was damaged near
Wilderness in the 2006-07 floods.

Strachan said with the economic recession, government did not want to
cause job losses.

“The report is on my table and, in due course, we will make a decision
which will be in the best interests of tourism and the Southern Cape.”

One proposal is for a shorter run between Knysna and Wilderness, as it
is too costly at present to repair the three flood-damaged rail
bridges between Wilderness and George.


Regards

Justin Miles
South Africa & Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Railca - http://midafricam.co.za
  #2  
Old April 29th, 2009, 09:32 PM posted to rec.travel.africa,alt.railroad
kilos
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Famous south African steam train futures hangs in the balance

I really do hope that this cycle track never happens and replaces the
raiway track,lets hope all lines get repaired, man the loss of that
George-Knysna railway line will go down in history as the biggest loss
for the GR area. Lets hope for a positive outcome from business,
rather put a cycleway on the Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp disused railway
line

On Mar 28, 11:32*am, kilos wrote:
Latest news from South Africa, is that the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe - one
of the last few operational steam trains in South Africa will run for
another 3 months until a viable business solution can be attained,as
Transnet are selling off or rather ridding themselves of all non
profit and non core business divisions. Running costs $80k per month.



IT was a great loss to tourism when the August 2006 storms put a stop
to the historical steam train running between George and Knysna and
ever since, the W-Cape Regional Government (WCRG) has done what it can
to reinstate the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe. The service provider appointed
last year to investigate this possibility submitted its report a month
ago and a decision is awaited.
However, if impossible to reinstate the steam train, a unique
opportunity will arise to create something entirely new that has the
potential to more than compensate for tourism losses, and at the same
time benefit the local population in other important ways.
South Africa has wonderful wilderness trails for walkers and hikers,
as well as trails for mountain bikers. It also has wildly popular mass-
start one-day events for cyclists. But we have yet to tap into the
great potential of cycle tourism (touring by bicycle) and to actively
promote cycling as a form of transportation.
Commuter and tour cycling are greener-than-green activities that the
country desperately needs, but one of the major reasons why we don't
have them is because we have not provided the essential infrastructure
that they require.
A cycleway is a pathway dedicated for the use of cyclists, having a
surface with gradients and sight-lines suited to cyclists. A cycleway
must be entirely free of motorised vehicles - both for safety and
enjoyment sake - but could accommodate pedestrians.

The creation of a 67km Garden Route Cycleway (GRC), using the existing
rail reserve between George and Knysna and built to international
cycleway standards, will give cyclists a truly unique experience
taking in one of the most scenic routes in the country.
Such a cycleway would have the potential to attract many tens of
thousands of touring and recreational cyclists per annum. Since the
route penetrates urban and city areas it would also provide a safe and
enjoyable route for hundreds of local cyclists as they travel daily
between home and work, school, shops, playgrounds, etc.

Studies conducted elsewhere reveal that cycleways that are scenically
attractive provide commuter routes, are well constructed and well
maintained, enhance property values and can entice individuals and
businesses to relocate.
Rather than lose the rail reserve should it not be feasible to
reinstate the steam train, the Garden Route Cycleway Association
(GRCA), acting in the interests of the general public, has formally
submitted the cycleway proposal to the WCRG, via Knysna Tourism.
The Association, as prime mover behind this exciting proposal, hopes
to be actively involved in the design, development and governance of
this unique recreational and commuting facility.
Please contact the secretary, Dr Phillip Parsons, at
if you would like to be kept informed of further
developments, and to support the GRCA.

Author: John Stegmann – Chairman: Garden Route Cycleway Association
  #3  
Old May 1st, 2009, 04:35 PM
rick39 rick39 is offline
Member
 
First recorded activity by TravelBanter: Apr 2009
Posts: 26
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilos View Post
I really do hope that this cycle track never happens and replaces the
raiway track,lets hope all lines get repaired, man the loss of that
George-Knysna railway line will go down in history as the biggest loss
for the GR area. Lets hope for a positive outcome from business,
rather put a cycleway on the Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp disused railway
line

On Mar 28, 11:32*am, kilos wrote:
Latest news from South Africa, is that the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe - one
of the last few operational steam trains in South Africa will run for
another 3 months until a viable business solution can be attained,as
Transnet are selling off or rather ridding themselves of all non
profit and non core business divisions. Running costs $80k per month.




IT was a great loss to tourism when the August 2006 storms put a stop
to the historical steam train running between George and Knysna and
ever since, the W-Cape Regional Government (WCRG) has done what it can
to reinstate the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe. The service provider appointed
last year to investigate this possibility submitted its report a month
ago and a decision is awaited.
However, if impossible to reinstate the steam train, a unique
opportunity will arise to create something entirely new that has the
potential to more than compensate for tourism losses, and at the same
time benefit the local population in other important ways.
South Africa has wonderful wilderness trails for walkers and hikers,
as well as trails for mountain bikers. It also has wildly popular mass-
start one-day events for cyclists. But we have yet to tap into the
great potential of cycle tourism (touring by bicycle) and to actively
promote cycling as a form of transportation.
Commuter and tour cycling are greener-than-green activities that the
country desperately needs, but one of the major reasons why we don't
have them is because we have not provided the essential infrastructure
that they require.
A cycleway is a pathway dedicated for the use of cyclists, having a
surface with gradients and sight-lines suited to cyclists. A cycleway
must be entirely free of motorised vehicles - both for safety and
enjoyment sake - but could accommodate pedestrians.

The creation of a 67km Garden Route Cycleway (GRC), using the existing
rail reserve between George and Knysna and built to international
cycleway standards, will give cyclists a truly unique experience
taking in one of the most scenic routes in the country.
Such a cycleway would have the potential to attract many tens of
thousands of touring and recreational cyclists per annum. Since the
route penetrates urban and city areas it would also provide a safe and
enjoyable route for hundreds of local cyclists as they travel daily
between home and work, school, shops, playgrounds, etc.

Studies conducted elsewhere reveal that cycleways that are scenically
attractive provide commuter routes, are well constructed and well
maintained, enhance property values and can entice individuals and
businesses to relocate.
Rather than lose the rail reserve should it not be feasible to
reinstate the steam train, the Garden Route Cycleway Association
(GRCA), acting in the interests of the general public, has formally
submitted the cycleway proposal to the WCRG, via Knysna Tourism.
The Association, as prime mover behind this exciting proposal, hopes
to be actively involved in the design, development and governance of
this unique recreational and commuting facility.
Please contact the secretary, Dr Phillip Parsons, at
if you would like to be kept informed of further
developments, and to support the GRCA.

Author: John Stegmann – Chairman: Garden Route Cycleway Association
I have traveled in a Stem Train in Shimla (India) and it was one of the most exhilarating experience i had ..!!
I know its off topic .. just wanted to share.
__________________
India Hotels
 




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