Lilongwe, Malawi, 28 Jan – the reconstruction of the Nacala railroad is expected to cost US$231 million with US$8 million reserved for emergency repairs, a Malawian Transport Ministry official said in Lilongwe.
Victor Lungu, director of the transport planning department of the Transport and Public Facilities Ministry, said that the figure was one of the conclusions of a study funded by the European Union.
The study also concluded that once the railroad was rebuilt, a train would take 38 hours – as compared to between five and seven days at the moment – to travel between Nacala in Mozambique and the Malawian economic capital, Blantyre. The current state of repair of the line does not allow for speeds of over 20 kilometres per hour.
“When the line is repaired, the trains will be able to travel at a speed of between 50 and 70 kilometres per hour,” Lungu said.
The Nacala railroad is the backbone of the Nacala Development Corridor, a development area that includes parts of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique that are practically unexplored.
Malawi and Mozambique are discussing the possible launch of a feasibility study for a river transport project, which would link Malawi to the Indian Ocean via a canal linking the Shire and Zambezi rivers. (macauhub)