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Ban on the Bong line

01 Jun 2005

REVIVAL of the fortunes of the iron ore market has triggered the reopening of the 78 km line between the mines at Bong and the port of Monrovia in Liberia.

The move means the end of a practice that saw the 1435mm gauge line kept in unofficial use since closure in the 1980s. It seems that local residents had used a variety of makeshift vehicles with rail wheels to carry freight and passengers along the line. Similar to the illegal 'skates' found in the Philippines and elsewhere, they are known as 'make-a-ways' in Liberia.

With trains running again, make-a-ways are now banned, and police and security staff have instructions to arrest anyone found using one.