Zambia Railways


Zambia Railways

Zambia Railways (ZR) is the national railway of Zambia, one of the two major railroad organizations in Zambia, which may also be referred to as Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ). The other system is the binational Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) that interconnects with the ZR at Kapiri Mposhi and provides a link to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.

History

The ZR network was built during British colonial rule as part of the vision of the Cape-Cairo railway but the economic spur was to access the mines of Central Africa. The railway started as part of Rhodesian Railways, the company which ran the railways of Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia as an integrated operation, which was one of the largest employers and enterprises in both countries. The railway arrived in the future Zambia early in 1905 when the 150 km Livingstone-Kalomo line was built in advance of completion in September of that year of the Victoria Falls Bridge from the then Southern Rhodesia to Livingstone. The first wagons on the line were hauled by oxen, then a single locomotive was conveyed in pieces by cableway across the gorge where the bridge was being built to start up operations to Kalomo in advance of the main line connection. [ [http://www.nrzam.org.uk/Railway/Rail.html "Horizon" magazine: "Zambia's Second Industry", February 1965, pp4-11.] ]

Another major bridge was required to cross the Kafue River and the 427 m long Kafue Railway Bridge, the longest on the Rhodesian Railways or Zambian Railways network was completed in 1906.

The line reached Broken Hill (Kabwe) in 1906 and Ndola in the Copperbelt in 1909 (connecting to Sakania in the Congo), some 20 years before the first large-scale copper mines opened there.

Zambia Railways operates the Mulobezi Railway, a branch line from Livingstone, built as a private timber line.

In the mid 1960s spurred by the Rhodesian UDI crisis, the newly-independent Zambia split its railways off from Rhodesia Railways, and Zambia Railways came into being.

Operations - Rail Services Zambia

Railway Systems of Zambia

Railway Systems of Zambia Limited (RSZ) is a private company incorporated and registered in Zambia. It is a subsidiary of NLPI Ltd (NLPI), an investment holding company, whose main investment focus is infrastructure-related projects on the continent of Africa.

The shareholders of NLPI are Nedbank Ltd, Old Mutual and Sanlam, all major South African financial institutions, together with New Limpopo Bridge Projects Limited (NLP), an investment company controlled by Mr. Mordechai Tager and Mr. Zion Elani, both entrepreneurs with extensive project development experience.

The NLPI Consortium participated in a tender, administered by the World Bank, in respect of the Zambia Railways Concession, in order to ensure a "Through Traffic" pre-arrangement along the Corridor from Durban to Lusaka and beyond. The Consortium was declared the winner with the signing of the Freight Concession Agreement on 14th February 2003, by the Minister of Finance and National Planning of the Republic of Zambia, as well as representatives of the NLPI Consortium.

The Consortium made a provision of US$40 million for the rehabilitation of Zambia Railways. The World Bank funded an additional investment of approximately US$30 million to finance Zambia Railways staff retrenchment packages, locomotive rehabilitation and other related projects.

Zambia Railways, which comprises over 900 kilometres of mainline railways and + 300 kilometres of branch line railway, is one of the largest rail networks within the region

The Zambia Concession, which covers the entire network from the Sakania Border to Victoria Falls, including the Copper Belt and other branch lines, not only constitutes one of the largest ever acquisitions in Zambia’s history, but is also unique, as it is Zambia’s first railway concession. Management expertise comprised of highly skilled and experienced Zambians and expatriate staff has been injected into RSZ. Ongoing improvements include programmes to upgrade track and rolling stock, as well as staff training. State of the art monitoring and IT systems have been installed to manage operations and improve customer care.

It is imperative to view this Concession not in isolation but as part of a global effort by NLPI, to alleviate railway and other related transport problems within the region.

The Concession will operate for a period of 20 years with a possible extension for a further 10 years, which is ample time in order to make Zambia Railways self-sufficient and for the Consortium to make a return on its investment.

International links

There are no current international passenger services of the ZR, only of the TAZARA railway. Some tour companies have run special services on the ZR network.

DR Congo

The Copperbelt reaches into the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo with mines at Lubumbashi and further north-west. The ZR network connects to Lubumbashi via Ndola and Sakania. At one time the Lubumbashi line connected to the Benguela Railway through Angola to Lobito Bay, but this line has not operated since the 1970s.

TAZARA railway

As most of its major export routes ran through then apartheid controlled South Africa, Zambia needed an alternate export route for its copper. In 1976, Chinese construction crews completed the 1,860-kilometer-long Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) which runs from Kapiri Mposhi just north of the Zambian capital Lusaka, to the Tanzanian capital and major east African port of Dar es Salaam. [citeweb|url=http://www.danwei.org/business_and_finance/chinese_company_to_operate_zam.php|title=Chinese company to operate Zambia Tanzania railway|publisher=Danwei.org|date=November 7, 2006|accessdate=2008-03-12] After being operated jointly by the two nationalised railway systems, the Chinese again took over the running of TAZARA in a joint transport agreement from January 2007, which covered both direct air links to Beijing Capital International Airport and copper ore export.

Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa

Via Victoria Falls Bridge the Zimbabwe rail network and the ports in Mozambique (Beira, Maputo) and South Africa can be reached. The condition of the 100-year-old bridge restricts traffic.

Up to the mid-1960s, passenger and sleeper services ran from Ndola to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), connecting with a sleeper service to Cape Town and the Union Castle shipping line to Southampton, UK. This was the main travel route between south-central Africa and Europe before the Jet age. The journey from Ndola to Cape Town took five days.

Ndola-Bulawayo passenger services ended when Zambia suspended all services across the Victoria Falls Bridge in response to Rhodesia's UDI crisis. Freight services were occasionally resumed up to the line re-opening in 1980, but successful passenger services have not resumed.

ZR Main Stations and Branches

Branch lines are shown indented under main stations: [ [http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.railtracker.org/RailAFFILIATES/Railways/ZR/zr_logo.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.railtracker.org/RailAFFILIATES/Railways/ZR/Index.htm&h=229&w=230&sz=33&hl=en&start=4&tbnid=xy_5bX2EtIT0QM:&tbnh=108&tbnw=108&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522zambia%2Brailways%2522%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26sa%3DG ZR network map] ]
*Kitwe
**Chambishi" − copper mine"
***Mufulira " − copper mine"
**Nchanga " − copper mine"
***Chingola " − copper mine"
***Chililabombwe " − copper mine"
*Ndola
**Sakania, link to Democratic Republic of Congo − copper mines
**Luanshya − copper mine
*New Kapiri Mposhi, link to TAZARA Railway to Tanzania
*Kabwe
*Lusaka
*Kafue
*Choma
**Masuku (Maamba Colliery line)
*Livingstone
**Mulobezi (Mulobezi Railway)
*Victoria Falls Bridge, link to Zimbabwe

Maps

* [http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/zambia.pdf UN Map West]

See also

* Transport in Zambia

References


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