JIS News

Government has committed to restoring the islandwide railway service.

This was announced by Minister of Transport and Mining the Hon. Audley Shaw at the official launch of the Safe Passage Road Safety Club, held at the AC Hotel by Marriott, in Kingston on Wednesday (March 9).

“We are going to put in a service from Montego Bay, St. James, to Appleton Estate [in St. Elizabeth] as a tourism initiative and then we’re going to put back [the route for] Kingston to Montego Bay and eventually [from] Kingston to Port Antonio in Portland,” he disclosed.

He noted that many of the tracks are still located on these routes and “the Government will seek to reopen the service to the west and better serve the people”.

He said “the Ministry is confident that our railway system now must be restored”. It is a valuable asset, he pointed out, and it should be left to remain unused.

“It is not only for bauxite purposes, and we’ve started with the pilot project of our students,” he said.

The pilot programme, facilitated by the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC), includes the routes from Linstead and Old Harbour in St. Catherine, which takes students to the capital, Spanish Town.

“JRC rolled out its new school train schedule on Monday (March 7) [after] seeing an uptake of nearly 200 students on the first day. It is anticipated that with the success of this school train service, more schools will come on board and utilise this method of transport,” he noted.

Against this backdrop, he said the Ministry continues to be “excited about the prospects and remains committed to revitalising more of the railways across the island”.

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