Mozambique: Trains to start running on Marromeu branch line in November

6 October 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 6 Oct – Trains are due to start running on the Inhamitanga-Marromeu branch line at the end of October or beginning of November, said Adelino Mesquita, one of the directors of Mozambican state port and railway management company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), cited by newspaper Notícias.

Despite the dealy on construction work on teh branch line, the project to rebuild the Sena railaroad is still scheduled for conclusion in September 2009, linking the Moatize coal region, in Tete province and the port of Beira in Sofala province.

The opening up of the Inhamitanga-Marromeu branch line is particularly important due to the impact cargo trains will have on the performance of Comapnhia do Sena, whose sugar production is currently transported by river.

Mesquita said that the track had already been laid and that ballasting was now underway, a job that would likely take until the end of October. The train now runs as far as Marromeu from Inhamitanga, which allowed for a more fluid movement of workers and equipment involved in the project.

The project for reconstruction of the Sena railroad, which is expected to cost US$175 million, aims to provide the line with a capacity to transport a maximum of 6 million tonnes per year, which is the reason why there is already talk of the need of additional investments to accommodate traffic of an additional 15 million tonnes of coal per year, set as the production target by the Moatize concession-holders.

In 1988 the Mozambican government launched the Sena line reconstruction project, which was later suspended due to sabotage and was taken up once more in 2002 using CFM’s own funds as well as from the International Development Agency (IDA).

The 25-year concession of the Sena railroad includes construction, operation and management of the Beira railroad system, which includes the Sena line (545 km), the Marromeu branch line (82 km), Dona Ana/Vila Nova da Fronteira (44 km) and the Machipanda line (317 km). (macauhub)