Sunday, August 31, 2008

Angolan President Speaks Highly of China-built Railway Line on Trial Operation

Angolan president speaks highly of China-built railway line on trial operation

2008-08-31 11:34:25
GMT2008-08-31 19:34:25 (Beijing Time)
Xinhua English

MALANJE, Angola, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has spoken highly of China-built Malanje-Luanda railway in trial operation during his inspection tour to the line at the weekend.

Speaking to over 20,000 local people welcoming him, he recognized the hardworking spirit of the Chinese workers who helped more than 4,000 local laborers and expressed his satisfaction with the high-quality of the line.

The 479-km-long railway line is ok and the passenger train is beautiful, he said, adding that the operation of the line is of key strategic to the country's economic development, especially boosting markets both in coastal areas and inland regions.

After inspecting a passenger train entering into the Malanje Railway Station, the president told the crowd of Chinese workers who manage the line and the station in Chinese "Xiexie, Xiexie (Thank you, thank you)."

The president, accompanied by First Lady Anna Paula dos Santos, also enquired the Chinese railway managerial personnel about the performance and function of the six-carriage passenger train which is in trial operation.

The Malanje-Luanda railway line with a contractual value of 355 million U.S. dollars is so far the largest infrastructural project China has contracted in Angola.

There are 16 stations along the line starting from the provincial capital Malanje in the north and running through four provinces of Malanje, Kuanza Norte, Bengo and Luanda and before it terminates in the Angolan capital Luanda, also a seaport city in Angola.

It took three years for China Railway 20th Bureau to instruct some 4,300 local workers to complete the project which consists of laying 264-km-long new rails, revamping 215-km-long existing rails and constructing 16 railway stations, 16 steel and reinforced concrete bridges and over 200 culverts.

Also accompanying the president to inspect the railway line include Vieira Dias Kopelipa, director of the Office for National Reconstruction, Augusto da Silva Tomas, minister of Transportation and Manuel Gourgel, director of the Malanje-Luanda Railway Administration and Chinese officials of China Railway 20th Bureau.

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