Fianarantsoa-Côte Est railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fianarantsoa–Côte Est
An FCE train at Manampatrana.
An FCE train at Manampatrana.
Type Heavy rail
Status Open
Locale Haute Matsiatra / Vatovavy-Fitovinany, Madagascar
Termini Fianarantsoa
Opening 1936
Owner Fianarantsoa–Côte Est
Line length 162.8 km (101.2 mi)
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
Maximum incline 3.5%

The Fianarantsoa-Côte Est (FCE) railway is a colonial-built railway in southeast Madagascar that connects the high plateau city of Fianarantsoa to the port-city of Manakara. It is 163 kilometers long and was built by the French between 1926 and 1936 using the forced-labor program SMOTIG. The French used rails and ties taken from Germany as World War I reparations to build the line. Many of the railways still have the date of manufacturing on them dating back to 1893.[1]

This line traverses some of the most threatened habitat in the world.[citation needed] In 2000, back-to-back cyclones caused 280 landslides and 4 major washouts cut service for months until a rehabilitation project was launched with help from USAID, Swiss Railways and others. A study conducted by the Project d'Appui à la Gestion de l'Environnement (PAGE) in 2000 concluded that keeping the train operational helps prevent deforestation to the tune of 97,400 hectares over 20 years.[citation needed] Interviews conducted with villagers during the temporary closure found that they would have no choice but to cut-down their tree-based crops that they shipped to market on the railway and plant rice or cassava instead.[1]

The FCE is currently running, but its aging infrastructure makes it vulnerable to service disruptions caused by broken rails, old rollingstock and landslides caused by cyclones.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Freudenberger, Karen. 2003. The Fianarantsoa-East Coast Railroad and its role in eastern forest conservation. The Natural History of Madagascar. Steven M. Goodman and Jonathan P. Benstead (eds.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

External links[edit]

Media related to Rail transport in Madagascar at Wikimedia Commons