The 317 km long Machipanda railroad is once again operational, linking Zimbabwe to Mozambique.
The railroad is being used again after the Beira railway system returned to the management of state Company Ferro de Moçambique in December 2011.
The Beira railway system, which includes the Sena line, linking the city of Beira to the Moatize coal basin in Tete province, and the Machipanda line, which connects Beira and Zimbabwe, had been awarded as a concession to the Beira railroad company, Companhia Caminhos de Ferro da Beira (CCFB), a consortium made up of Ricon, a consortium of state Indian companies Rites and Ircon Internacional, with 51 percent and Mozambican state rail and port company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique, with the remaining 49 percent.
The trains travel on a route from the port of Beira to Zimbabwe carrying cargo of mainly fertilizers and wheat and return with granite and container cargo. Since renovations and upgrades were made to the line, the number of derailments has dropped from around 60 to only 2 or 3 a month.
Since December 2011, CFM has increased the number of people involved in the work to repair the line, and has been able to refurbish some railway stations, re-open crossings, replace rails and sleepers, replace ballast, re-instate drainage ditches, cut back grass as well as implementing new level crossings.
Meanwhile, given the lack of rolling stock on the line, CFM has leased trucks from National Zimbabwe Railways in order to ensure that an average of three trains per day travel along the Machipanda line, and the time it takes to travel along its length has already been reduced from 24 to 12 hours.