Moçâmedes Railway

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Moçâmedes Railway
TypeHeavy rail
Line length860 km (530 mi)
Track length1,003 km (623 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Old gauge600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in)
Angola railway network (interactive version)
3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) tracks610mm gauge tracks
Railways in Angola.svg =

The Moçâmedes Railway (Portuguese: Caminho de Ferro de Moçâmedes (CFM)) is an 860 km railway line in Angola, between Moçâmedes and Menongue.[1][2] The line is operated by the company Caminhos de Ferro de Moçâmedes E.P. The port city of Moçâmedes was renamed Namibe between 1985 and 2016, so the railway was sometimes called the Namibe Railway (Portuguese: Caminho de Ferro do Namibe). However, the railway company retained its original legal name.


Construction began on the railway in 1905, when Angola was a Portuguese colony. The railway was opened to traffic in 1910, and continued to be extended inland until it reached its current terminus at Menongue (formerly Serpa Pinto) in December 1961.[3][4] The line was originally built with 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) narrow gauge track, but it was re-gauged to 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Cape gauge in 1950, matching the gauge of other lines in Angola and southern Africa.[5][6]

After Angola obtained its independence from Portugal in 1975, the Angolan Civil War broke out, resulting in the destruction of most of Angola's railway infrastructure. When the fighting ended in 2002, the Angolan government sought to restore rail service. The China Hyway Group rebuilt the Moçâmedes Railway between 2006 and 2015.[7]

The railway is expected to serve mines at Chamutete and Cassinga[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Li, Aoxue (21 February 2014). "Stability key to development". China Daily Africa.
  2. ^ "Moçâmedes Railroad, Angola, receives three more locomotives". Macauhub. 29 September 2014.
  3. ^ The Geographical Digest (1963 ed.). George Philip and Son. 1963. p. 69. The 95 km. extension of the Mocamedes Railway from Cuchi to Serpa Pinto was inaugurated in December 1961. The railway, which uses the gauge of 3; 6", now has a total length of 754 km.
  4. ^ Foreign agricultural economic report: Angola. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 1961. p. 9. The Mocamedes Railway extends only as far as Menongue (former Serpa Pinto), but could be extended to Zambia.
  5. ^ Durrant, A.E., A.A. Jorgensen, C.P. Lewis. Steam in Africa, London, 1981, Hamlyn.
  6. ^ "Railways in Angola". 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  7. ^ "China Construction Hyway delivers Moçâmedes railway reconstruction project in Angola". Macauhub. September 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "MOÇAMEDES RAILWAY". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-11-27.