10 January 2013

Mozambique: Traffic Resumes On Maputo Rail Network

Maputo — Passenger and goods trains are running again on the Maputo rail network following repair of a stretch of line in the Maputo suburb of Infulene, damaged by a derailment on Sunday.

According to Augusto Abudo, rail director of Mozambique’s publicly-owned rail and port company, CFM, traffic resumed on Tuesday night although final work to consolidate the damaged track is continuing, and the last of the fallen wagons has yet to be put back on the rails.

A commission of inquiry set up by CFM concluded that the derailment was caused by a deliberate act of sabotage, reports Thursday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.

There have been repeated attacks by gangs of thieves against goods trains carrying shipments of wheat, as they pass through Infulene, and this has obliged CFM to step up the number of security guards patrolling the tracks and on the trains.

This time, the thieves seem to have picked the wrong target, since the train that derailed was carrying, not foodstuffs, but minerals from Swaziland for export from the port of Maputo.

The derailment halted all passenger trains in the Maputo region, and also prevented the movement of goods trains between Maputo port and neighbouring countries.

Abudo said the derailment caused serious losses to CFM, but it was still too early to put a figure on these losses.

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