Train services resume between Cuamba and Lichinga in northern Mozambique

20 September 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 20 Sept – A train has made the journey between Cuamba and Lichinga, capital of the northern province of Niassa, for the second time in two months, according to a newspaper report.

Maputo daily Diario de Noticias reported that a locomotive pulled 11 carriages over the 300 km stretch of track last week, taking 26 hours at an average 12 kph. The previous Cuamba-Lichinga rail journey in August took around a week.

The line in question is in a poor state and the train using the track in August was the first for six months. Last week’s trip was only possible after repair work on the railway, said an official from the Northern Development Corridor (CDN), a private consortium holding the concession to operate the deepwater port of Nacala.

Due to CDN’s problems in reopening the dilapidated Cuamba-Lichinga line, the Maputo government threatened to cancel the firm’s concession for the Nacala port. CDN appears to have resolved the problem by pledging a train service to Lichinga by the end of September.

Lichinga is one of Mozambique’s most isolated cities and after its rail link was severed during the country’s civil war, supplies were brought in by road and the cost of living soared. (macauhub)