The service called ‘Appleton Express’ ceased operations in the 1990s. It offered visitors a chance to tour the rum estate and factory by train.
They were able to make stops in communities along the way, where they interacted with residents, while making purchases of food, clothing and craft items.
Speaking at a Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) media breakfast in Montego Bay on Monday (September 21), Dr. McNeill said discussions are taking place with the Ministry of Transport and Works with a view to getting the trains back on track.
He said “the train service in general has not been in use. There are certain areas which are still useful, but not in general…recently we had some discussions with the Ministry (of Transport) and they have indicated that they are now moving forward. We had a meeting very recently, inclusive of the Port Authority and others, and we are looking at reopening that (tourist) element. We think it is important,” he said.
Dr. McNeill said the rail service could become a marquee attraction.
“You have the Alaska train tours and you have one in the Caribbean. They are always very successful and we are looking forward to see how we can reopen this one. The discussions are now on in earnest but there is a series of things that need to be done,” Minister McNeill stated.