Luanda Railroad in Angola, to start operating again in second half of July

25 June 2010

Luanda, Angola, 25 June – The Luanda/Ndalatando/Malange railway link will start operating again in the second half of July once reconstruction of the 400 kilometres of line is concluded, said the chairman of railway company, Caminhos-de-Ferro de Luanda (CFL).

Cited by state newspaper Jornal de Angola, Osvaldo Lobo do Nascimento said he had met with the contractor and inspector of the project and had been informed conditions were in place to re-launch commercial operations between Luanda, Ndalatando and Malange, at a top speed of between 50 and 60 kilometres per hour.

During the experimental trip, Osvaldo do Nascimento, accompanied by CFL technicians, visited the stations of Catete, Barraca do Zenza do Itombo and Dondo, built as part of the refurbishment and modernisation of the rail facilities destroyed during the civil war.

The stations, all of which have two floors, have an administrative area, a restaurant, medical post, VIP rooms and others for passengers, with a capacity of between 200 and 500 chairs.

Reconstruction of the Luanda/Ndalatando/Malange railroad, which began in 2005 funded by the China International Fund (CIF), made it possible to rebuild 600 hydraulic crossings, 16 stations and 40 bridges and pontoons, as well as clearing land and reducing inclines.

The Luanda railroad was opened in 1909 covering a total of 479 kilometres, including small branch lines.

After the country’s independence, it fell into a long period of decline due to a fall in the amount of cargo transported (from 301,000 tons in 1973 to 54 tons in 1990), loss of qualified staff, financial difficulties and lack of investments due to the deterioration of the railway line.

The return to civil war in November 1992 led to the death or disappearance of a significant number of CFL permanent staff and the total or partial destruction of several bridges, trains and stations. (macauhub)