Two months after disclosing in an interview with Nyasa Times that the Central East African Railways (CEAR) will purchase additional coaches, the company has announced it is buying five locomotives.
CEAR communications officer, Chisomo Mwamadi, told Nyasa Times on Wednesday that after analyzing operations for 2013, it was discovered that the company fell short of its target of 331,000 tonnes and only managed to haul 228,000 tonnes of cargo.
“One of the reasons was our lack of capacity in terms of hauling more cargo because we have few locomotives. CEAR then decided to purchase five locomotives from Transnet Engineering to better our operations this year,” said Mwamadi.
According to Mwamadi, the development will not only help the country’s sole railways operator to haul more cargo but also increase its passenger trains and boost their frequency on the rail.
CEAR is expecting to have two of the five locomotives next month, another two in May and one in June.
“Our engineers are currently in South Africa checking on progress in terms of refurbishment,” unveiled the CEAR spokesperson.
Added Mwamadi: “Apart from this, the old locomotives will also be sent to Transnet for refurbishment to increase their horse power to add life to them. This programme will run concurrently with the acquisition of the new locomotives.”
CEAR, which purchased six passenger wagons last year, is also expecting to get 17 new coaches around August or September this year, a development which the company believes will make its operations better in its efforts to serve Malawi’s transportation industry.