Mon | Apr 6, 2020

JRC gets Christmas off to rocking start

Published:Friday | December 23, 2016 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Transport Minister Mike Henry peers out of the window of the moving train en route to Linstead yesterday.
The train arrives at Tru Juice Sports Club in Linstead, St Catherine.
Transport Minister Mike Henry shares stories with passengers about riding the train in his youth.
Industrious vendors redirect their sales efforts towards the train’s passenger at the Spanish Town Railway Station.
Nicoli Gabbidon (left) and Kavia Stewart take a selfie by the train at the Spanish Town Railway Station in St Catherine.

The Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC) yesterday showcased the recreational value-added component of the rail service when it hosted workers from the Civil Aviation Authority, Port Security Corps, Ministry of Transport and Mining, as well as its own staff members, on a train excursion from the Spanish Town Railway Station, St Catherine, to the Linstead station in the same parish.

The four-coach train then returned to the Tru Juice Sports Club in Bog Walk, where the entire party had lunch and was entertained by members of the Tivoli Dance Troupe before heading back to Spanish Town.

They were then bussed back to the transport ministry's head office or the Barry Street head office of the JRC.

The novelty of the ride for many occupants who were first-time passengers was apparent from the start, and when it entered the first tunnel, the spontaneous reaction of many to the sudden darkness was one of anxiety despite the well-lit coaches.

Despite a number of unexplained stops, the excitement at the different sights and sounds had many persons capturing the rolling countryside on various mobile devices.

motorists shout pleasantries

Some motorists who were inconvenienced by the unscheduled stops to facilitate the carriage crossing major roadways took the time to shout pleasantries, while children and adults alike cheered and waved from the safety of their homes as well as from the roadside.

The journey allowed passengers fleeting glimpses of some of Jamaica's flora, rivers, and other aspects of Jamaica's natural environment not usually accessible by road, as well as peeks into the backyards of householders as well as businesses places. Also on show from this unique viewpoint were glaring examples of widescale illegal dumping of garbage, slash and burn, and other scars on the environment.

Despite this, the party atmosphere inside the coaches provided a welcome relief for people who usually chauffeured themselves to relax and enjoy the ride in relative comfort, free from traffic snarls and road rage, as they started Christmas celebrations in a very non-traditional manner.