Fran tram to rattle winelands

ca p1 wine tram done The Franschhoek Wine Tram will carry passengers through the winelands from September.

JANELLE SCHROEDER

Staff Reporter

A NEW attraction is on track to becoming a tourist icon in the Western Cape.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram arrived at its permanent home this week when a crane lowered it on to tracks near the Franschhoek Cellar.

The tram will be operating by the end of September, taking passengers on a two- to three-hour tour that will include wine tastings and other activities.

“Visitors will be able to take in the scenery, the wine and the vines,” said David Blyth, general manager of the Franschhoek Wine Tram.

He said the project had been 10 years in the making.

The trip, at a leisurely 18km/h, will include a narrated guide to the history of the area and wine cultivation in the Franschhoek Valley. It will use old SA Railways lines.

The Franschhoek branch line opened in 1904 and Blyth said the tram would assure its preservation.

The “Fran tram” was built by Prof Engineers, an SA company that specialises in equipment for the rail and mining industries.

Modelled after a late-1800s open-sided Brill tram, the low-emission vehicle will seat 30.

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