Out of Town

Franschhoek Wine Tram to launch this spring

The Wine Tram in Franschhoek

Franschhoek certainly can't be accused of resting on its laurels and being complacent. As if the town isn't already blessed with breathtaking scenery combined with some of the best wine farms and restaurants in the country, it is now striving to make a visit to the valley even more rewarding.

Exciting things await Franschhoek this spring: visitors will be able to take a leisurely tram journey through the valley, taking the concept of a food and wine experience to a whole new level. In fact, the town wants the new tram to become a tourist icon in the same mould as the Table Mountain Cableway or Cape Point Funicular.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram will launch later in 2012, and will offer wine tasting tours which can include a narrated tour focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley. This will provide tourists with a safe and novel method of travel while wine tasting, and also reduce traffic.

It will use the Franschhoek branch line, which was opened in 1904 and will be preserved because of the project.

The tram has been newly constructed by a specialist engineering company, but is based on the open-sided Brill Trams of the 1890s. The tram will seat about 30 passengers, and will have roll-down awnings and even wheelchair access.

The hydrostatic propulsion system uses the latest bio-diesel technology which reduces emissions.

Not only is it good for tourists, it's good for job creation and the local economy too. The project has resulted in jobs, skills development and entrepreneurial activities, and will be used as a catalyst to promote tourism development in the area.

For more information, visit their website.

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