Benguela Railroad reconnects coast and interior of Angola

13 February 2015

The inaugural train on the Benguela Railroad (CFB), linking the Angolan coast to the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, arrived Thursday in Luau, eastern Moxico province, according to Angolan press reports.

The journey began Tuesday, departing from the city of Lobito, and took about 30 hours to travel 1,344 kilometres to get to Luau, a town near the border with the neighbouring country.

The railway line was completely rebuilt by the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), as part of a public works project of Chinese design costing an estimated US$1.83 billion.

The final section of the CFB, between Luena and Luau (town on the eastern border), 334 kilometres and seven stations, was completed in 2014 and has been in testing so far, with the departure of the “inaugural train” linking the two extremes of country, and carrying dozens of guests.

Construction of this line began on 1 March, 1903, during the period of Portuguese colonisation, and was completed about 26 years later, but the civil war in Angola led to its destruction in 1983.

The link between Lobito and Luena, the capital of Moxico province, was restored in 2012, and passenger transport now extends to Luau.

This line is expected to transport 20 million tons of cargo and four million passengers per year. (macauhub/AO/CN)