Construction of the new railway bridge over the River Umbeluzi will allow the Goba railway line to increase its load capacity to 5 million tons per year in 2017, according to a forecast from Mozambique’s state port and rail company CFM.
The company is investing about US$12 million in the construction of a new bridge at kilometre 37.7 of the railway line near the current bridge that will no longer be used as it is operating at below minimum safety standards .
The foundation stone for the construction of the new bridge was laid Monday at a ceremony attended by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, and witnessed by government officials from the province of Maputo and CFM staff, Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias reported.
The Goba line used to carry 2.5 million tons of cargo per year, including sugar produced in Swaziland, but poor conditions of safety on the bridge led to restrictions on the movement of trains, a situation that was worse in the rainy season.
The new bridge, which connects the Matsapha Industrial Park and the port of Maputo, will be capable of supporting vehicles weighing up to 27 tons per axle, compared to 20 tons at the moment. This will make it possible for trains with greater capacity to circulate on the line with up to 100 wagons, compared to a current maximum of 50.
Construction of the bridge was awarded to Portuguese construction company Mota-Engil Africa. The bridge will be 360 metres long and based on five pillars with a height of 15 metres above the River Umbeluzi.
With an approximate length of 226 kilometres, the Goba line has been used to transport sugar produced in Swaziland through the port of Maputo, with amounts between 200,000 and 240,000 tons per year, as well as to import most of the goods that the country needs. (macauhub/MZ/PT)