R D Taylor reporting on zimrail:
On Sunday 12 February 2012, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) celebrated Valentines Day with a special steam train from Bulawayo to Sawmills and return.
• 15th class Garratt no 395
• water tankcar
• service coach
• coach 1823 (eye coach)
• coach 1058 first class ex museum
• dining car 646 ex museum
• dining car 660 (part of Chimanimani twin-set)
• 666 and 667 twin-diner Zambesi
• 272 baggage van
• 747 general manager’s coach
The locomotive had been shined, with appropriate parts painted red. The train left Bulawayo at 09:30 and passengers were served tea or coffee. Train Manager A Lungu welcomed those aboard and explained the day’s events. The special crossed the Victoria Falls mixed train at Mpopoma. This was hauled by DE10 1039 had twin diner 668/669 in its consist.
A light breakfast was served. Nyamandlovu was reached at 11:18. Here water was pumped from the tankcar using a portable pump fixed to the rear of the loco. Departure was at 11.30. “Tenella bank was taken in great style during a heavy and very welcome rainstorm.
At Igusi the special crossed a Zambia Railways locomotive hauling a BBR train. Sawmills was reached at 12:50. There was a warm welcome from the local
While at Sawmills a Rail Services Zambia locomotive no 07-611 crossed hauling a short train of South African goods wagons.
Lunch was taken in the open, accompanied by a traditional dance performance.
Departure from Sawmills at 16:30 was followed by a non-stop run to Nyamandlovu. Fifteen minutes were spent here, pumping water. A lengthy stop to blow down was made between Pasipas and Morgans. Passengers were served a “first class dinner”.
At Mpopoma (19:50) the special crossed the overnight train to Victoria Falls, its coaches all in darkness. Arrival in Bulawayo was at 20:20.
Participants congratulated the NRZ on its initiative, speaking highly of the good organisation and the friendly and helpful staff.