$100m needed for Mulobezi rail overhaul

PASSENGERS aboard the Mulobezi-Livingstone train
PASSENGERS aboard the Mulobezi-Livingstone train

Railways Limited (ZRL) requires US$100 million to overhaul the Mulobezi railway line and extend it to the Walvis Bay corridor in Namibia. ZRL head of Corporate Affairs, Benson Ngula said in an interview that the company was ready to start the project provided funding was made available.

“Mulobezi railway line requires an entire overhaul of the rail track and we are also planning to extend it to the Walvis Bay corridor to link Zambia and Namibia.

“The company is ready to commence the project provided that there is the availability of $100 million that is required for the rehabilitation and extension of the railway,” he said.

Zambia Railways took over operations of the Mulobezi railway on January 1, 2014, when Government repossessed it from Leasons General Contractors, the former shareholders.

Mr Ngula said ZRL recently refurbished several coaches and locomotives which would be commissioned for the easy movement of cargo and passengers along the railway. He said the passenger coaches are furnished with dinning and lavatory facilities and have the capacity to accommodate 100 passengers up to the level of economic class.

“Out of our own company resources, we have refurbished several coaches so that passengers and cargo can be ferried separately. These coaches will be allocated to the Mulobezi railway and while another set of them would be allocated to the Nacala corridor to make the movement of passengers easy,” he said.

Mr Ngula said the railway firm had dedicated the $120 million sovereign bond granted by Government to the rehabilitation of the rail track and purchase of modern locomotives.


Times of Zambia