31 December 2012

Mozambique: Rio Tinto Coal Train Derails

Maputo — A train carrying coal from the mining company Rio Tinto derailed last Thursday on the Sena railway line, according to a report in the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”.

The derailment occurred in the area of Cambulatsissi, in Moatize district, in the western province of Tete shortly after the train had set off on its journey of over 600 kilometres to the port of Beira. This is the second derailment suffered by a Rio Tinto coal train within the space of three months.

The circulation of passengers and goods along the Tete stretch of the line was interrupted for more than two days. According to Candido Jone, the managing director of the central division of the Mozambican port and rail company, CFM, passenger and goods traffic along the line was re-established on Saturday.

Jone said he did not know what had caused the derailment, and a commission on inquiry has been set up to investigate it.

The train was carrying 42 wagons with a total of 2,620 tonnes of coal. The derailment damaged the rails and the sleepers along four kilometers of track.

Jone could not put a figure on the damage, but declared “the losses are enormous, since a stoppage of two days is a long time, given that normally the line carries six trains a day”.

Passengers who rely on the railway were unable to travel for two days, and the companies that use the line to take their coal to Beira – Rio Tinto and the Brazilian mining giant Vale – also suffered losses.

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