Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) has reportedly spent USD 96 million of the USD 120 million Eurobond in a continued effort to restore the country’s railway system, track and infrastructure and included projects aimed to improve its signaling and telecommunications system as well as the procurement of rolling stock.
The remaining USD 23 million is reported to have already been committed to suppliers of rolling stock materials.
According to a report from ZRL, project that have been completed with the Eurobond funds include the insertion of 140,179 sleepers on more than 126 km of the country’s rail; the overhauling and redeployment of 7 of the 12 trains that were scheduled for a periodic servicing; the rehabilitation of 45 wagons; and the purchase of 30 new coaches.
Phase one of the rehabilitation project is expected to be completed in 2015, but the Zambian Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Panji Kaunda has called for continued investment in order to facilitate further enhancements to and restoration of the entire railway network.
“As Government, we are happy with what is happening,” he said, “but the railway line is worn out, it’s over 50 years old.”
Additionally, according the report released by the ZRL indicates that while the USD 120 million Eurobond was a launching point, it would not be sufficient to complete the project.
“A further investment is required in order to continue with the rehabilitation so as to enhance the operational efficiency and safe movement of trains,” the report reads.