• Benguela Railway (Angola)

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Komachi
 
George,

Excelent article, good to see some progress being made. Hopefully the railway lines will be back in operation in short order and aiding the redevelopment of the country. Thanks for sharing.

  by David Benton
 
this is one of those lines on the map that beg to be travelled . i never made it to southern africa , but i always noticed this line in the thomas cook overseas timetable . maybe one day .

  by george matthews
 
David Benton wrote:this is one of those lines on the map that beg to be travelled . i never made it to southern africa , but i always noticed this line in the thomas cook overseas timetable . maybe one day .
I travelled on the Portuguese line from Umtali (as it then was) to Beira (Mozambique) in 1971 - two years before the revolution that ended Portuguese rule. The interiors of the Benguela line train look similar. I had a first or second class sleeper.

  by Sir Ray
 
The abandoned railbuses[?] in picture 3 looks rather interesting
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/p ... html/3.stm

Yea, I know it was a human interest story, but as a railfan I was a little miffed that there was only 4 or so photos of the train, and the rest of various people and their stories.

So, whatever happend to that 'modern-day' Capetown to Cairo railway proposal...

  by george matthews
 
Sir Ray wrote:
So, whatever happend to that 'modern-day' Capetown to Cairo railway proposal...
Cecil Rhodes, the imperialist had the idea of such a railway. He caused to be built the railway from the Cape Province through what is now Botswana to Bulawayo, on to the Victoria Falls and into Zambia as far as the Copper Belt.
I have used various parts of that line when I worked in Botswana. I have been over the Victoria Falls bridge in a train travelling from the Zambia side to Bulawayo.

That line had an economic point. How much of it is still operating I am not sure. The current state of collapse in Zimbabwe makes it possible that it isn't functioning well there.

There is no economic point to a through line to Cairo.
There is a link from Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia to Dar es Salaam, built by the Chinese. I don't know how busy that is, as it was originally designed to take copper from Zambia while avoiding Rhodesia and South Africa.

The first main rail gap is between Kenya-Uganda and the Sudan system. There is a plan to build a link between Sudan and Uganda, and possibly Kenya. However, I don't know how serious this plan is. There would be gauge problems as the East African lines are all metre gauge.

Then there is a gap between Sudan and Egypt. Sudan has a cape gauge system and Egypt has standard gauge.

I suppose a link is possible, but there are political problems, as Egypt has a regime compliant to the west whereas Sudan has a radical Islamic regime, which deals more with China than with the west.

  by David Benton
 
I tihnk remember reading that the tamzam railroad had recently been rebuilt .

While the stories are interesting to us railfans , it is important to relaise how important these lines are to the people living in the area .
If the railroad doesnt run , then they are at the mercy of private trucks and bush taxis , who have no qualms about charging as much as they can get .
These people have very little in the way of cash , some will simply be unable to travel if the train does not run .

  by george matthews
 
David Benton wrote:I tihnk remember reading that the tamzam railroad had recently been rebuilt .

While the stories are interesting to us railfans , it is important to relaise how important these lines are to the people living in the area .
If the railroad doesnt run , then they are at the mercy of private trucks and bush taxis , who have no qualms about charging as much as they can get .
These people have very little in the way of cash , some will simply be unable to travel if the train does not run .
I travelled the road between Zambia and Tanzania several times in the 1960s and 70s. There were bus services the whole way -quite uncomfortable and I wouldn't want to do it now. In East Africa there was the Railway bus service from the railway at Itigi to Mbeya and on to the frontier. In Zambia there was Central African Road Services.

The colonial trains were very comfortable but decades of lack of funding have made them very spartan nowadays.