Investments by Mozambique’s railway company, the Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), in the rehabilitation of its Ressano Garcia, Goba and Limpopo railway lines are bearing fruit, company board chairperson Rosário Mualeia has reported. The Ressano Garcia line runs to South Africa, the Goba line to Swaziland and the Limpopo line to Zimbabwe.
As a result, Mozambique is regaining a large part of the transit freight traffic that, before the country’s civil war (1977-1992), ran from the landlocked States of Southern Africa to Mozambican ports, such as Maputo and Beira, for export to the wider world.
However, these three lines are still operating below capacity because, while the lines themselves (tracks, sidings, signal systems and so on) have been rehabilitated and reconstructed, there is still a shortage of locomotives and wagons to run on them.
To try and deal with this, CFM set about retrieving wagons abandoned at stations and on sidings when the lines were cut during the civil war, and refurbishing them in its workshops. However, the number of refurbished wagons has proved inadequate to meet the rising demand.
Nevertheless, CFM recently promised its South African and Swazi counterparts (Transnet Freight Rail and Swaziland Railways respectively) that it will increase both the quantity of freight it will be able to transport and the quality of the service it will provide.
Mualeia reported that CFM was simply waiting for permission from the Mozambican government to establish lines of credit with already identified banks, to finance the purchase of new rolling stock.
In addition, mining companies had also indicated their willingness to finance locomotives and wagons. (Brazilian mining group Vale already has the concession to run CFM’s northern network and is operating the Sena line and refurbishing the Nacala line.)
“I can therefore affirm that the phase of lethargy has now passed and that soon we will be able to count not only on the mining companies’ assets but also on our own equipment,” he stated.