There are some burning questions that the citizens of Jamaica would like to ask the Hon. Mike Henry, Minister of Transport and Works; about the Montego Bay Railway property out here in the second city of Jamaica.
Immediately after returning to government as the Transport and Works Minister, “ with responsibility for the Jamaica Railway Corporation,” Min. Henry announced via the media houses, that the public railway corporation will be pursuing all effort in bringing back the Rail Service that once serviced the Montego Bay to Kingston routes, and other inland communities.
Since the last general election and such grand mouth talk, nothing has been done to bring closure to such talk from the Minster.
Montego Bay Railway: well, sir, it is indeed sad to say but, Montego Bay-Kingston won’t be getting any Rail Service anymore. The land which belonged to the Jamaica Railway Corporation, next to the Montego Bay Transport Centre, has since taken over by foreigners – “Chinese.” Who are busy putting up large concrete structures on the said railway property.
Sir, the Montego Bay Railway property is now transformed into a huge Commercial Business hub. Making it extremely impossible for a return of the well-awaited train service from Montego Bay via inland parishes, and into Kingston. Minister Henry seems to be clueless of the many concern citizens from the west, who are very concern that the money train will not be coming to town anymore; which could have added a boost in tourism. Bauxite companies were supportive of the continuation of the railway, to use the trains instead of trucks.
Numerous persons have openly expressed a bitter taste for the disposing of that prime piece of railway property in the centre of the busy Montego Bay business district. Now being taken over by foreign nationals – without a word being mention to the people of Montego Bay. Such shabby treatment does not go well with many, who are subjected to ill-treatment by these, so-called Foreign Investors. Fast track to the government’s announcement on several radio programs that, repatriations benefit from the colonel masters, who have ill-treated our ancestors in the past, will be forthcoming.
Yet down here in western Jamaica, the government is selling out our land to the same foreigners, whose fore-parents enslaved our ancestors for too long.
That’s not right, and Minister Henry needs to address this matter urgently.
What is strange about this land transaction, is the fact that, nothing has been told to the people of western Jamaica about the change in ownership of our once “pride and joyous” property – the railway land. It is on the shoulder of the minister to urgently inform the citizens of Montego Bay, who are the rightful owner of this prime piece of front page property; about why was it sold to foreign nationals.
Jamaica seems to no longer take pride in ownership of Jamaican legacies – monuments like the railway land can be sold, without care.
Montego Bay Railway: the trains were used in earlier years to transport tourist from Montego Bay to Appleton Estate.; which could have brought daily income to the city and Jamaica and still remain a monument.
Minister Henry, remember, it was you who told a group of Montegonians that all that parcels of land stretching west along railway lane and, unto Howard Cooke Blvd, circulating Lower Bevin Avenue, including the Fishers man’s beach – belongs to the Jamaica Railway Corporation? What, and who have changed such decision since then, Mr Minister? Some disclosure needed here on this one, and very soon too.
Jamaica railway system was first introduced to the island in the mid-1800s. The railway stopped operating in the early 1990s. It was revived for a brief stint in 2011 but discontinued within a year.
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PHOTO: Main photo credit: Kingston Railway Terminal by Mark Gorney California, USA