Monday, May 27, 2024

Mozambique plans to resume trains to Eswatini this year

The passenger train service between Mozambique and the Kingdom of Eswatini could resume this year, subject to the completion of the necessary infrastructure works on the neighboring country’s railway line. Lara Popinsky, head of Passenger Transport Services at the Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) company, revealed to “Notícias” that experimental journeys have already taken place, but the infrastructure on the Eswatini side is still inadequate, resulting in longer journeys.

In response to this situation, the CFM is re-evaluating the organizational and operational structure of the train service and has set up a commission with technicians from both countries to draw up a new project for operating the rail corridor. This project, which has already been submitted for evaluation and approval, includes changes to timetables, tracks and other crucial aspects for efficient operation.

During the experimental trips, more than 550 passengers were transported on two occasions, marking the return of the service almost two decades after it was interrupted. Popinsky highlighted Eswatini Railways’ interest in resuming connections between the two countries and the expectation that this will happen soon and under better conditions. He also revealed that there are projects underway to re-establish rail links with South Africa.

Passenger transportation between Mozambique and Eswatini by rail was resumed in 2022, after two decades of interruption. The first trip took place in November, at a cost of 1,250 meticais per ticket. In August of the same year, representatives of CFM and Eswatini Railways signed an agreement to run direct trains between the Port of Maputo and Sdokodvo, formalizing freight transport between the two countries.

The resumption of passenger train transportation between Mozambique and Eswatini aims to facilitate trade and boost economic growth in both countries. The expectation is that, with the infrastructure works and operational adjustments, the train service can be successfully re-established and contribute to greater integration between the nations.

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