Melissa Mpofu, Showbiz Editor
LOOKING for a way to treat that special woman in your life on Mother’s Day? Worry not as the National Railways of Zimbabwe, (NRZ), through its Rail Leisure unit, has arranged a steam train ride for the Mother’s Day celebrations tomorrow.
Referred to by many as a party on the train, Nyasha Maravanyika, NRZ public relations manager said passengers will enjoy a total of seven and a half hours on board a Museum coach with just over an hour set aside for a stop in Plumtree for lunch.
The Mother’s Day Steam Train will leave Bulawayo Station at 8:30AM arriving in Plumtree at 1PM.
“Passengers will then have lunch before departing for Bulawayo at 2:45PM, arriving in Bulawayo at 5:30PM,” said Maravanyika.
To be part of this fun, fares for adults will be $30 and $15 for children under the age of 12.
“Snacks and braai packs will be on sale while a cash bar will be available although passengers have an option of bringing their own packed lunches and cooler boxes.”
Passengers will be given an opportunity to take pictures along the way as the locomotive will make stops at scenic places for run pasts.
Maravanyika said they had organised this fairly long round trip from Bulawayo to Plumtree in order to afford people an opportunity to appreciate the ride while bonding with their loved ones.
“The steam excursion of 200km is the longest organised by Rail Leisure so far this year and is in response to numerous requests from steam train enthusiasts and the public for longer journeys so that they get more time to enjoy the ride on the train,” said Maravanyika.
Previous excursions, he said, have been limited to within a 60km radius of the departing station.
“This is the start of long excursions by Rail Leisure with longer rides, some of them overnight, planned during the course of the year as Rail Leisure shows its responsiveness to customer needs.”
Among the planned excursions are Schools Joy Ride from Harare to Bulawayo in July, Sanganai/Hlanganani Jaunt in Bulawayo in August, Family Fun Day in Gweru in September, Hwange Excursion also in September and Schools Joy Ride from Harare to Mutare in November.
This excursion, Maravanyika said, was unique because the NRZ is one of the few railway operators in the world still offering rides on steam trains with its Garratt locomotive popular among steam locomotive enthusiasts.
“Rail Leisure uses Museum coaches maintained in top condition for the steam train excursion to allow passengers to get a real feel of how rail travel used to be many years ago.”
However, those who will fail to make it to the train on time can treat their mothers to a special lunch at Holiday Inn where a Mother’s Day luncheon has been arranged. For $20 per person, it will not only be about food as a guest speaker, Hannie — a seasoned executive who is passionate about life and family has been invited to deliver a motivational talk. Lots of prizes and giveaways are on offer at the lunch that begins at 1PM, ending at 3PM. A pink, purple and white dress code has to be adhered to.
However, if you feel going out on this day is rather too hectic or costly, don’t stress yourself as you can just simply arrange to cook a special meal for that woman at home and cheer her up. If not, you can just make an effort to visit her and if she is far away, call or text her.
For those stressing about buying presents, worry not because honestly, the most priceless gift that you can give the woman who has devoted so much of her life to raising and nurturing you is to give her some time to rest which means taking over duties she usually does like chores and cooking. In all this though, people must remember to tell their mothers or women in their lives, how much they mean to them.