ZAMBIA Railways has made significant progress

2014-04-28 11:22:07
Summary:  By BRIAN HATYOKA    Mulobezi railway infrastructure since it took over operations from the concessionaire, Le

  Mulobezi railway infrastructure since it took over operations from the concessionaire, Leonard Sifuba early in January this year.
  About US$ 100 million is required for a complete overhaul of Mulobezi Railway line which has a stretch of 164 kilometres between Livingstone in Southern Province and Mulobezi in Western Province.
  Once the railway line is fully rehabilitated, it would be taking about six hours to travel from Mulobezi to Livingstone compared to the current situation where it takes about 28 hours for the same journey.
  ZRL chief executive officer, Muyenga Atanga said ZRL was currently upgrading the railway line by replacing the sleepers.
  Speaking in an interview in Livingstone during the week, Professor Atanga said ZRL had acquired new locomotives and coaches which would be launched next month.
  He said the Molobezi – Livingstone route would be serviced twice in a week following the rehabilitation exercise.
  ‘‘The rehabilitation of Mulobezi Railway line is currently on course and making significant progress. Come November next year, we shall begin to upgrade the speed to levels that can reduce on transit time and please customers,’’ Prof Atanga said.
  He said ZRL had demonstrated that it had capacity to handle cargo as the movement of cargo increased during the first quarter of this year compared to last year.
  ‘‘What is happening is that we are running short of cargo. The trackers have invested heavily in their freight in such a way that they have also established relationships with clients who are supposed to provide us with business.
  Our battle now is to get the bulk cargo from the roads to the rail and Government has to come on board to assist us,’’ he said.
  He also said ZRL would engage people who had built structures near the railway line to have them relocated to other places.

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