National Railways of Zimbabwe To Go Green with Solar System

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The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has started installing solar panels on its commuter trains in order to improve lighting in the coaches, ensuring the safety of passengers.

The effort is made to address the passengers’ complaints of several cases of vandalism by the criminals who take the advantage of the poor lighting in the trains.

The installation work of solar panels has been started on the Bulawayo commuter train, with other commuter trains in Gweru and Harare are planned to be rolled out with the same.

The installation of the solar panels is expected to allow crews to have power throughout the year without fear of breakdowns.

NRZ is responsible for providing the locomotives and rolling stock, while the Zimbabwe Passenger Company (ZUPCO) looks after the passengers’ services and sells tickets.

ZUPCO’s Acting CEO Evaristo Mudangwa noted that being the owners of the equipment, the maintenance of the trains was the responsibility of NRZ. “Renovations are done by the owner of the equipment. I understand the lighting system on the Mufakose train was restored and other refurbishments are also being carried out,” he said.  

According to NRZ Acting Spokesperson Martin Banda, the solar panels will boost efficiency to the railway services and ensure the safety of the commuters.

 “We are working on putting solar panels on top of the trains so that we use solar energy. So far, we have installed the panels on four coaches in Bulawayo and we are working on the modalities because the process requires a lot of foreign currency”, he mentioned.

The introduction of passenger train services falls under the priority of the Government to deliver a decent, adequate, and efficient public transport system. The Government recently set up an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the Local Government, Public Works, and National Housing Minister, July Moyo to work on decongesting roads in cities, with a decent public transport system.

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