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Old December 23rd, 2015, 07:49 AM   #1
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ZAMBIA | Railways

This thread is about railways in Zambia
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Old January 22nd, 2017, 02:41 AM   #2
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Passenger Rail Transport in Zambia




The passenger rail network in Zambia is surprisingly extensive, it serves nearly all of Zambia's cities and quite a few of Zambia's large towns. Even though the trains are slow, the trains are fairly modern and comfortable as the Zambian government has invested in newer trains. There are two major rail lines operating in Zambia; Zambia Railways and TAZARA Railway. Zambia Railways connects Zambia's major cities and TAZARA Railways is an international train line that connects Zambia with Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The two rail networks connect at the Kapiri Mposhi Station, which is arguably the most significant train station in Zambia.

Zambia Railways:

Zambia Railways operates two lines. The first (and most significant) line is the the twice weekly Kitwe-Livingstone line. This line connects the major cities of Zambia including Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola, Kapiri Mposhi, and Livingstone. There are a total of 77 stations along this line. There are three different trains operate along the Kitwe-Livinstone line; the Zambezi Express train, the Kafue train. The Kafue train is the most basic form of train transportation with minimal frills, but it is the least expensive. The more expensive Zambezi Express train is also more modern with three different classes (sleeper, standard, and economy), air conditioning, sleeper compartments, flushable toilets, a restaurant coach, television sets, a music system, customer care service, and fewer stops. The sleeper class has similar comforts to European trains (albeit slower). In addition to the main Kitwe-Livingstone line, there is a smaller line that runs from Livingstone to the Western Zambian town of Mulobezi. This is a no-frills line that was in danger of closing a few years ago, but received refurbishments between 2012-2014. The main purpose of this line is to transport farmers and farm hands from agricultural towns in Western Zambia to the larger city markets of Livingstone. The Livingstone-Mulobezi line stops at 20 stations, and contains several coaches where farmers can carry their livestock. In addition to these two lines, there is also a small commuter rail network in Lusaka with lines to the Ngwerere and Lilayi Townships.

It's harder to find pictures and videos of the Zambia Railways network online, but I've managed to find a video of the Kafue Economy Train (it's quite interesting). I've also found a couple of pictures of the interior of the Zambezi train which I can post once I get to my work computer on Monday morning (it requires me to use my screenshot/image editing software).

Kafue Economy Train

News video about the refurbishment of the Livingstone-Mulobezi line.

TAZARA Railway:

The TAZARA Railway was built in 1975 as a way to give Zambia access to the sea without relying on (then) Rhodesia and Mozambique. The TAZARA Railway is important to the Zambian economy to this day as it connects the country to the port in Dar es Salaam. The passenger railway line runs between Dar es Salaam and the Zambian city of Kapiri Mposhi, from where you can take connecting trains to Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe, and Ndola via Zambia Railways. In Zambia, there are a total of 44 stations along this line, mostly in Eastern Zambia. Trips along this ride are twice weekly, and there are two separate trains that run along the TAZARA Railway. There is the slower, Tanzanian maintained 'Kilimanjaro' in which the journey takes several days, and there is the recently opened, Zambian maintained 'Mukuba Express' which contains more modern amenities and has reduced that travel time to 36 hours. The Mukuba Express uses modern Chinese-built cars that were delivered in 2016.

Here is an anecdote from traveler Ivor Morgan via Seat 61 regarding the amenities of the Mukuba Express:
We travelled on the Zambian-operated Mukuba express. The train consisted of : 3 luggage vans (2 of these were left at the border); 6 economy seats cars; 1 restaurant between economy & 2nd class; 1 ‘super-seater’ car (reclining seats with 2 overhead TVs); 3 2nd class sleepers (6 berth compartments); another (more upmarket) restaurant car; 3 1st class sleepers (4 berth); a lounge/bar car; and a staff car. There was an attendant for each 1st class sleeper or two, who was generally very helpful, and swept the corridors and compartments a couple of times each day.
More tourists travel on the TAZARA Railway than on Zambia Railways, so fortunately there are more photos and videos readily available.

This is the best video I could find overall. It's a run down of all of the amenities available on a TAZARA Railway train. It's an express train but it's not one of the recently donated Chinese trains, it's an older one. Again, once I'm at work on Monday I can post pictures of Chinese trains.

New Kapiri Mposhi Station:

Despite Lusaka being the capital and largest city in Zambia, Kapiri Mposhi contains what is essentially the 'Central Station' of Zambia. It is the connecting point between Zambia Railways and TAZARA Railway, and it is quite a busy station.

New Kapiri Mposhi Station by Chris Hutchins, on Flickr

All information found from Wikipedia, Zambia Railways Website and Seat 61.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

-Mark Twain

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Last edited by musiccity; January 22nd, 2017 at 02:48 AM.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:13 PM   #3
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Zambia, Chinese firm seal railway construction deal


LUSAKA, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Wednesday signed a deal for the construction of a new railway project with China's state-run firm that will enhance transportation in the southern African nation.

The 388-kilometer railway, to run from the eastern town of Chipata to the central town of Serenje via another eastern town of Petauke, will be constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), at a cost of 2.3 billion U.S. dollars within a four-year period.

"This project aims at enhancing regional trade and transport competitiveness by providing an alternative trade route to the East Coast of Africa via the Port of Nacala in Mozambique." Minister of Transport and Communications Brian Mushimba said at a signing ceremony in Lusaka, the country's capital.

The project will provide the much-needed link between the Zambian main railway line network with the Malawian railway line network through the existing Chipata-Mchinji railway line which forms part of the Nacala Corridor, Mushimba said.

The project will enable the government to save funds used on rehabilitation of damaged roads due to haulage of bulk and heavy cargo.

The project, he added, is meant to enhance regional and international trade through the Nacala Development Corridor which involves Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

According to him, the project is one of the strategic infrastructure projects the government intends to implement through the China-Africa Cooperation framework announced by the Chinese government during the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in South Africa where 60 billion dollars fund was pledged.

He further expressed confidence in the Chinese firm's ability to construct the railway within the stipulated period because it has wealth of experience in undertaking railway construction projects.

On his part, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming said the signing and implementation of the project will further promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The railway line, Yang said, will promote Zambia's trade, investment, employment and sustainable development and open another route to the sea for the landlocked southern African nation.

"I believe it will be an important part of the integrated southern African transportation system which connects Zambia with Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Mozambique," he added.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:15 PM   #4
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Chinese firm conducting assessments so work can begin

The China Civil Engineering Construction Company is busy conducting assessments so that work can begin on the Chipata-Serenje railway. The railway will be nearly 400 kilometres long. The company has been assessing the environmental impact and the financing. It's estimated to cost around 2.26 billion U.S. dollars. It runs from Zambia's eastern town of Chipata to the central town of Serenje. The single-track railway will carry passengers and goods. Officials from the construction company say the railroad will bring opportunities and promote economic development.

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