The Machpanda railroad, which runs for 317 kilometres, is once again in operation after the Beira railway system returned to the management of state company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique in December 2011, Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias reported.
The Beira railway system, which includes the Sena line, linking the city of Beira to the Moatize coal basin in Tete province, and the Machipanda line, which connects Beira and Zimbabwe, had been awarded as a concession to the Beira railroad company, Companhia Caminhos de Ferro da Beira (CCFB), a consortium made up of Ricon, a consortium of state Indian companies Rites and Ircon Internacional, with 51 percent and Mozambican state rail and port company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique, with the remaining 49 percent.
According to the newspaper, the trains leave for Zimbabwe from the port of Beira with cargo of mainly fertilizers and wheat and return to the port loaded with granite and container cargo. The number of derailments on the line has dropped considerable from around 60 to just two or three a month, due to work carried out along the line.
Since December 2011, CFM has increased the number of people involved in the work to repair the line, and has been able to refurbish some railway stations, re-open crossings, replace rails and sleepers, replace ballast, re-instate drainage ditches, cut back grass as well as implementing new level crossings.
The bridge of the Pungué River, which is about 245 metres long, linking the districts of Dondo and Nhamatanda, in Sofala, also needs work such as painting, replacement of sleepers, and instating pedestrian crossings, but work to de-mine the surrounding area has been completed and repair work is due to begin soon.
Meanwhile, given the lack of rolling stock on the line, CFM has leased trucks from National Zimbabwe Railways in order to ensure that an average of three trains per day travel along the Machipanda line, and the time it takes to travel along its length has already been reduced from 24 to 12 hours. (macauhub)