Sunday, July 24, 2011
2011-07-23: "Shosholoza Meyl" to Malmesbury - alias Saturday Metro train no 2661
14:29 on a Saturday, and the Shosholoza Meyl, oops Metro train no 2661, has left Bellville station behind, and is on its way to Malmesbury.
The train formerly ran with Metro coaches headed by a diesel, which was kind of an unusual combination, however due to constant vandalism of its property, Metrorail has a shortage of rolling stock, and old Shosholoza Meyl Sitters are now used for this service from and to Malmesbury.
Today Metro no 2661 is headed by 35-068
On Saturdays this metro departs at 13:50 from Cape Town station.
It is due to arrive at 15:55 in Malmesbury.
Towards Stikland bridge.
This map shows part of the Malmesbury route.
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.