History of rail transport in Madagascar

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This article is part of the history of rail transport by country series
C. de F. de Madagascar 0-4-4-0 Mallet locomotive, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

The history of rail transport in Madagascar began at the start of the twentieth century, with the construction of a metre gauge line between Brickaville (now Ampasimanolotra) and Madagascar's capital, Tananarive (now Antananarivo). That line was the first section of the Tananarive–Côte Est railway (TCE) from Tananarive to Toamasina, the country's chief seaport. It eventually became the nucleus of a network of three railways, the Network North (French: Réseau Nord).

Between 1926 and 1936, an isolated line, the Fianarantsoa-Côte Est railway (FCE), was built, again in metre gauge, in the south east of the island. The FCE is also known as Network South (French: Réseau Sud).

The two separate networks were combined under the same management in 1944. The whole system was nationalized in 1974. By the 1990s, the national system was very run down, and the Malagasy government decided to privatize it. Since 2003, Network North has been run by a joint stock company, Madarail, under a 25-year concession, while Network South has remained under parastatal operation.

Madagascar has also had a number of industrial railways, including a line serving a sugar cane plantation on the small island of Nosy Be, north west of the main island.

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Media related to Rail transport in Madagascar at Wikimedia Commons