Monday, December 27, 2010

Brief History of Luanda Railways in Angola

Angola: Brief History of Luanda Railways

27 December 2010
Luanda — The Luanda Railway (CFL) train that resumed the Luanda/Ndalantando /Malanje connection on Monday, after a 18-years interruption due to the long lasting armed conflict in Angola, was inaugurated in 1909, with a total extension of 479 kilometres.

After independence, in 1975, CFL experienced a long period of decline due to low volume of cargo (from 301,000 tonnes in 1973 to 54,000 in 1990), drain of qualified personnel, financial constraints and poor investment resulting from the deterioration of the rails.

Another factor behind the stoppage of the train was the armed conflict itself, as road traffic was frequently interrupted from 1984. Two years later, CFL restarted a limited operation between Malanje and Luanda in August 1991, boosted by the Bicesse Peace Accord signed to put an end to decades of civil war.

However, with the restart of the armed conflict in November 1992, a substantial number of CFL personnel were killed or went missing, worsened by the complete or partial destruction of bridges, locomotives and stations.

In June the same year, the CFL management conducted an experimental trip to assess existing conditions with a view to resuming commercial operations.

The rehabilitation of CFL is part of the project of relaunch of Angola's economy and development.

Meanwhile, over the 424 kilometres of railroad, 11 new stations were built. They are mainly those of Catete, Zenza do Itombe, Ndalahui (ex-Bela Alta), Luinha, Canhoca, Lucala and Ndalatando (Kwanza Norte), Kizenga, Cambuze, Cacuso, Lombe and Malanje, all under the programme of rehabilitation and modernisation of railway infrastructures destroyed during the conflict.

The project included the construction of three fuel storage depots by the country's Oil Company (SONANGOL), in order to facilitate transportation and reduce demand in inland regions of the country.

1 comment:

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