CONSTRUCTION of the rail link from Tsumeb to the Namibia/Angola border at Oshikango reached another milestone on June 10, when President Sam Nujoma and Works, Transport & Communications Minister Moses Amweelo laid the first rails in a ceremony at Tsumeb.

The ceremony followed the awarding of a N$92m contract by TransNamib Ltd, under which South Africa-based Lenning Rail Services will be responsible for laying track on the 246·5 km from Tsumeb to Ondanagwa over the next 15 months. The price excludes the cost of the rails, sleepers and ballast, which will be sourced directly.

According to President Nujoma, the new railway is a ’national endeavour’ which ’rallied the Namibian people and brought them together to work shoulder-to-shoulder for the achievement of a common goal.’ Cost of the first phase is put at N$845m, which is being co-financed by the government and the African Development Bank.

  • TransNamib General Manager, Engineering, Matty Hauuanga confirmed last month that the railway expected to receive four new diesel freight locos and 30 oil tank wagons from China during July. The railway is also buying a 120 km/h diesel multiple-unit to complement its successful Desert Express luxury passenger train.