Mozambican state rail and port company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) has launched a public tender for the reconstruction of two railway bridges on the Ressano Garcia line, which links the south of Mozambique to South Africa, the company said in a statement issued in Maputo.
In the statement, signed by the Department of Engineering Studies and Projects, the state company outlines that interested companies must put forward their proposals by the end of June and that they must be prepared to start work immediately.
On 19 January there was a derailment on the line, which forced it to close for around three months, and CFM later rebuilt a railway bridge.
Daily newspaper Notícias said that although the line had be re-opened to traffic on 2 April, cargo transport to neighbouring countries, particularly South Africa, continues mainly to be carried out by road, as some exporters and importers are still reticent about putting their cargo on the railway due to a lack of safety conditions, particularly on some bridges.
The newspaper added that the bridges had always been the “Achilles’ heel” of the Ressano Garcia line, which was refurbished along its entire length at a cost of US$20 million between 2006 and 2009. The project increased the railway’s capacity from 18 to 20 tons per axle.
With this investment, the Ressano Garcia line started to receive more cargo and improved its transit times but it quickly became clear that there was another weak point, which was the bridges, specifically over the Umbeluzi River, in Boane district. (macauhub)