Beira Railroad Corporation

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The Beira Railroad Corporation (CCFB) is a railway company formed by a lease from the Mozambique Ports and Railways (CFM) to the Indian Rites and Ircon International consortium to operate a railroad that originates from the port of Beira, Mozambique as a terminal. The 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge Beira line is important as it provides port access for landlocked states such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Katanga Province.

History[edit]

Originally the Beira railroad already established a connection to Salisbury, now Harare, in 1899 and had been a link in the rail system of southern Africa.

Building of the Beira railway started in 1892,[1] during the Portuguese rule of the territory of Mozambique. First, a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway was constructed from Beira to the border city Mutare (Umtali) in Zimbabwe, in total 222 miles[2] long and opened on 4 February, 1898.[1]

In 1893 work started in Vryburg, Cape Province, South Africa, to construct a 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge railway to the north, later to be connected to the Beira Railway. In 1898 a 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge line from Salisbury to Mutare was opened, with subsequent conversion of the connecting 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge stretch to Beira in 1900.

In 1905 the railway was completed after opening of the Victoria Falls Bridge at the border of Zambia.

The 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge locomotives were later acquired by the South African Railways[3] to be designated to SAR Class NG6.

Gallery[edit]

Nineteenth century 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge steam locomotives of the Beira Railway.

Routes[edit]

The Beira railway has two major segments, the Machipanda line to Zimbabwe, and the Sena line to the coal fields of Moatize with further connection to Malawi.

War damage[edit]

After Mozambique gained independence in 1975, both segments were damaged during the guerrilla fighting in the 1980s when RENAMO sabotaged the railroad.

Reconstruction[edit]

Operational activity has been regained on the Machipanda line, and rehabilitation of the Sena line has been completed to Moatize, a town in Central Mozambique, and the first coal train from there to the port of Beira, operated by the Brazilian-based firm Vale, operated in August 2011.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Baxter, Anthony H (1998). The Two Foot Gauge Enigma: Beira Railway, 1890-1900. East Harling: Plateway Press. ISBN 1871980348. 

External links[edit]