Steam Train Company grinds to a halt
THE Victoria Falls Steam Train Company has been liquidated and its assets are set to go under the hammer on September 9 to pay debts amounting to nearly $1 million.
The company was registered in 2000 to operate, market and sell excursions on historical trains and trams in Victoria Falls.
Since 2014 when its tram was involved in a collision with a National Railways of Zimbabwe train resulting in the death of a tourist and injuries to 20 others, the company has been struggling.
The liquidator, Mr Winsley Militala of Petwin Executor and Trust Company said the company has total liabilities of $837 261 against non-current assets of $294 900.
“The business operated well until the time a tram was involved in a collision with a NRZ train and that, coupled with the pull-out of the investor-Batoka Hospitality-precipitated the collapse of the company as the investor now demanded a repayment of a loan amount in excess of $250 000,” said Mr Militala in a statement.
He said since Victoria Falls Steam Train Company was practically insolvent due to the non-operation of its damaged tram, the directors saw it fit to apply for voluntary liquidation by special resolution.
The liquidator is in the process of disposing the company’s assets which include two coaches and a tram, said Mr Militala.
Mr Phillip Charles Steel, is the company’s major shareholder with 70 percent shares.
The other shareholders are Mrs Sheelah Alexandra Bell (10 percent), Michael Napier Clinton (10 percent) while David James Simpson and William Ingram Davis each have 5 percent.
Going into liquidation, the company had already ceased operations.
The open-sided tram is a modern built replica of a classic 1890s model and accommodates about 30 passengers.— @ ncubeleon.