KINGSTON – Minister of Transport and Works, Hon Mike Henry, has indicated that in mid-April there will be a test run of the railway service between May Pen, Clarendon and Linstead, St. Catherine, as the Government seeks to rehabilitate the system.
Mr. Henry explained that since no deals have yet been reached with prospective investors, the existing system will be used, with coaches and engines that have been rebuilt, for the test run on Saturday, April 16.
“We have had to reclaim the railway station in Spanish Town, we have had to clean that up…we have re-laid lines, and all of that is done with what we have…we have had to sell land, what we have done is utilized assets which were abandoned,” he said.
Mr. Henry told Wednesday’s March 30 Jamaica House press briefing that the talks are advanced with at least four investors from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, he emphasised that when the railway system is rehabilitated, it will not be competing with other modes of transportation, but will support and enhance public transportation.
“I’m told its $160 by route taxi or bus through the (Bog Walk) Gorge…I’m not intending for the railway to come in and charge $100, because I have to take into consideration how that impacts (on other modes of transport)…I am not trying to take away passengers, I am trying to share the method of transport,” he outlined.
Mr. Henry noted that the entire transport system is being overhauled, “to integrate travel, and ensure that everyone earns a proper living”.
By ALPHEA SAUNDERS, JIS Reporter