Angolan Minister of Transport, Augusto da Silva Tomás, has described the rehabilitation and modernization of the 1.344km of railway and installation of new communication and traffic control systems as important investments of the Angolan State on the Benguela Railway (CFB).
During a working visit to 8 locomotives acquired in December 2016 by the Angolan Government, Cabinet Minister da Silva Tomás said that the locomotives are aimed at reinforcing the capacity of transportation of people and goods.
He also revealed the Government’s investment plan in the rehabilitation of 2 train stations and the construction of 65 crossing points and highlighting 6 stations of 1st class and 8 of 2nd class.
According to da Silva Tomás also, the purchase of office equipment and the completion of construction of Benguela Railway Training Center in Huambo, whose investments will bring economic growth, employment and improved living conditions for Populations.
Minister da Silva Tomás has had meetings in the province of Benguela, as part of the meetings of the public companies in the sector.
Rail transport in Angola consists of three separate Cape gauge lines that do not connect: the northern Luanda Railway, the central Benguela Railway, and the southern Moçâmedes Railway (southern). The lines each connect the Atlantic coast to the interior of the country. A fourth system once linked Gunza and Gabala but is no longer operational.
Railway construction in Angola began in 1887, while the country was a colony of Portugal. The Luanda Railway opened in 1889, the Moçâmedes Railway opened in 1910, and the Benguela Railway opened in 1912.
It continued to be extended inland until 1961, when the Moçâmedes Railway reached Menongue. After Angola attained itsindependence from Portugal in 1975, the Angolan Civil War broke out and lasted until 2002.
The prolonged fighting resulted in the destruction of most of Angola’s infrastructure. The rebels blew up bridges, tore up track, and sabotaged the right of way with land mines to prevent the railway from being restored.