Zambia launches the Lusaka-Beira rail route

Lusaka:  Transport and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga has officially launched Zambia Railways' Lusaka-Beira route which has reopened after twenty five years of no operations. Mr Mukanga has told Zambia Railways Chief Executive Officer Professor Muyenga Atanga that he wants to Railway Company to increase its tonnage to forty thousand per month.  Mr Mukanga further says the resumption of the Mozambique route will help improve trade among Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

He has advised the company to ensure that it delivers to the expectations of Zambians and contributes to economic development. And Professor Atanga says Zambia Railways is working hard to ensure that it becomes a viable transport company.

Professor Atanga says the company is only second to South Africa in the region.  He says on a monthly basis, Zambia Railways makes between three and four million dollars.  And Zambia Railways Workers Union President Nathan Zulu says the resumption of the Lusaka-Beira route is a fruit of government's repossession of the railway company. Mr Zulu says railway workers are happy with the repossession as it has revamped the company.  A train carrying 1,050 tons of inorganic fertilizers has left the port of Beira in central Mozambique, headed for Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, along the Machipanda railroad according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias. The newspaper added that the train is the first to travel to Zambia in 25 years, following a shut down of the service during the 1976-1992 civil war and later due to failures to meet contractual obligations by the company running the Beira railroad system.

These first 1,050 tons are part of a bigger lot of 10,000 tons at the port complex. The cargo train was made up of 25 trucks that on their return will carry copper for export to the European, Asian, American and Australian markets.

Zambia is the second Southern African Development Community (SADC) country, after Zimbabwe, to receive and send cargo to and from the port of Beira by rail, over a distance of some 1,000 kilometres on a journey that takes at least 10 days.

At the ceremony to mark the re-launch of the rail service, the governor of Sofala province, Félix Paulo said that between the beginning of the year and the end of September 2.8 million tons of cargo had been carried on the two railway lines that make up the Beira railroad system, which was an increase of 32 percent against the same period of 2012. 

macauhub.  Source:  ZNBC

 

Between the beginning of 2013 and the end of September 2013, 2.8 million tons of cargo had been carried on the two railway lines that make up the Beira railroad system - an increase of 32 percent against the same period of 2012.