Zim-Moza railway line 80 percent complete

14 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Zim-Moza railway line 80 percent complete Refurbishment of the 10-kilometre railway line stretching from Mutare to Machipanda in Mozambique has hit the 80 percent mark, with the outstanding works expected to be complete by the end of this month

Liberty Dube
Post Correspondent

REFURBISHMENT of the 10-kilometre railway line stretching from Mutare to Machipanda in Mozambique has hit the 80 percent mark, with the outstanding works expected to be complete by the end of this month, The Manica Post has learnt.

The project is a result of bilateral deliberations that were presided over by Zimbabwean and Mozambican governments early this year.

The revamping of the 10km railway stretch from Mutare to Forbes Border Post will increase the carriage of goods by a safer and reliable railway transport and stimulate trade between the two countries.

Prior to the intervention by the two sister Republics, the railway line was in a state of neglect, leading to equipment problems and reduced service.

Some sections of the railway line were buried under debris due to heavy dumping of eroded soil, with the poaching of concrete stones also rampant along the stretch, while the indiscriminate cutting down of trees fuelled landslides and deposition of huge volumes of soil along the railway line.

The effects of the demise of the railway line were, not only being felt by businesses that use rail transport to ferry their raw materials, but also ordinary citizens, smallholder farmers, pensioners, and railway communities, whose livelihoods were severely affected.

The stretch is being revamped to match the standards already set in Mozambique which has upgraded its railway system.

Last year, President Mnangagwa joined his Mozambican counterpart, President Filipe Nyusi to officially commission the 300km Machipanda railway line, which stretches from Beira Port to Machipanda Border Post.

The US$200 million project is expected to increase freight volumes on the line from the current 600 000 tonnes to 3,5 million tonnes in the first 12 months.

The railway infrastructure project has enormous pulling power for the two governments, given its potential to link cities, open up economic opportunities for export ports and reducing the cost of transporting goods and people, while also enabling the public to access opportunities for work and trade.

In an interview this week, NRZ public affairs and stakeholder relations manager, Mr Andrew Kunambura said although the project is in course, it is a bit behind schedule after they ran out of sleepers from Mozambique.

Mr Kunambura, however, said they are happy with the progress so far, and come the end of June, the project should be complete.

“Everything is on course, although we are a bit behind schedule. We, sometimes run out of sleepers that will be coming from Mozambique. We want to replace 3 000 sleepers to complete the whole project, and there is a few proportion of the figure that is left. That is the only thing that has been slowing us down, otherwise all is in place. The track workers are working flat out to ensure that the project is complete by end of this month. The hiring of additional workers has really played a critical role in facilitating the progress of the project,” said Mr Kunambura.

About 21 track workers were hired in addition to the 19 who were already there to boost capacity in terms of labour, which drastically ameliorated the pace and progress of the project.

“We are upbeat that the project will be complete by end of June. The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Felix Mhona is expected to tour the line soon and have an appreciation of the work done so far.”

The scope of work that has been done and still in progress includes re-sleepering the line, replacement of worn out rail and re-ballasting.

The project is being done in collaboration with Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) of Mozambique which chipped in with 3 000 sleepers.

Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique is a State-owned company that oversees the railway system of Mozambique and its connected ports.

 

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