Monday, July 25, 2011

2011-07-20: Shosholoza Meyl departing Bellville for JHB

10:39AM - The Shosholoza Meyl is departing Bellville Station after a loud and clear whistle.

The train is headed by E1555 and E1666 - the latter in the Meyl's livery.

The dining cars presently are coloured green after an experiment which did not work well: The dining cars had been branded BJ’s in order to identify them as such, both on the interior and exterior. The warm, friendly and vibrant colours seen at all BJ’s outlets countrywide had also been used on the coaches. The fast food "restaurant on wheels" was a first for South Africa.

The cars carrier carriage is in its usual position at the back of the Meyl.

Shosholoza Meyl name explanation:

Anyone familiar with the history of migrant workers in South Africa will instinctively know that Shosholoza is the name of the popular traditional African song favoured particularly by hard working men whose work it was to lay railway lines. Meaning to push forward, endeavour or strive, it evokes a sense of pride. Today the song has become a favoured rallying cry of our sportsmen and women and their supporters.

Altogether it reflects a sense of joy and unity.

Imeyili is an colloquial term used to describe a long distance train. The term stems from the "Mail Trains" which, some 100 years ago, sped the mail from England landed in Cape Town to South African inland towns. By replacing Rail with Meyl (Mail) a warm sense of history is restored.

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