Sunday, July 24, 2011

2011-07-23: Shosholoza Meyl running ahead of time

Saturday 14:13: The Shosholoza Meyl is running about half an hour early between Stikland and Bellville - due to leave Bellville station at 3pm.

The Shosholoza livery E1666 and an orange Spoornet E1555 head the Meyl.

The driver is in a good spirit as he is on time, and gives a friendly wave to the photographer.

Behind the locomotives follows the cars carrier.

The dining saloon couches are in green - repainted after the catering service was outsourced for a period of time, but Shosholoza Meyl has taken control back again.

At the end of the train comes the heating unit.

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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