Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Zambia Railways launch a midweek train service from Livingstone to Lusaka


Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle) and Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (left) exchange light moments after launching the midweek train service in Livingstone
Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle) and Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (left) exchange light moments after launching the midweek train service in Livingstone

ZAMBIA Railways Limited (ZRL) has launched a midweek train service from Livingstone to Lusaka with a pledge to restore the lost glory in the railway sector.

ZRL chief executive officer Clive Chirwa said his organisation would work hard to bring back its lost glory by improving the livelihood of Zambians.

Prof Chirwa said he was disappointed with the quality of coaches that were currently transporting human beings.

He was speaking in Livingstone on Wednesday afternoon during the launch of a midweek train service for Livingstone to Lusaka route.

Prof Chirwa said the launch of the midweek train service was a step in the improvement of the railway systems in the country.

“This is the beginning of the way forward on how we can start the reconstruction process of our company.

We need to bring Zambia railways to its lost glory. The quality of coaches transporting human beings is extremely disappointing. We are going to do everything we can to improve and bring about change,” said Prof Chirwa.

Dr Chirwa said he was extremely disappointed with the deplorable state of coaches for the Mulobezi rail way line and vowed to ensure that the situation was addressed.

“One thing I was extremely disappointed about is the deplorable state coaches for Mulobezi railway line and I want to assure you that we shall correct the situation as soon as possible,” said Dr Chirwa.

He said there was need for the country to have railway systems that were common and suitable for the 21st century.

“Our customers have been begging us to bring back the train service that they used to enjoy. I want to assure our clients that we have come back and thanks to the current government who has given us this opportunity especially the President who has given back the Railways to the Zambian people,” said Prof Chirwa.

He also said the improvement of working conditions for the Zambia Railways workers would be a priority.

 Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle) and Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (left) exchange light moments after cutting ribbons to signify the launch of the midweek train service in Livingstone
Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle) and Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (left) exchange light moments after cutting ribbons to signify the launch of the midweek train service in Livingstone

And speaking when he officially launched the midweek train service in Livingstone, Southern province permanent secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga said his province contributed significantly to the economy of the country.

Dr Mulenga said that economic growth of the country had just began under the Patriot Front (PF) Government under the leadership of the President Michael Sata.

He said that repossessing of the Zambia Railways from Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) and the launch was of the Link Zambia 8000 project was part of the growth.

Dr Mulenga said that the mid week train would be a good alternative transport for the people of his province.

He said the country was poised for economic development with the current investment that Government was channeling to the transport sector.

“With a revamped rail transport, we will be able to give competition to road transport and this will result in the lowering of transport costs.

With the lowering of the transport costs, people will be able to save money and therefore putting more money in their pockets,” said Dr Mulenga.

Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle), Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (left) and Senior Chief Mukuni (right) exchange light moments inside a train the launch of the midweek train service in Livingstone
Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle), Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (left) and Senior Chief Mukuni (right) exchange light moments inside a train the launch of the midweek train service in Livingstone

And Zambia Railways Workers Union (ZRWU) president, Nathan Zulu has pleaded with the current government never again to consider concessioning the railways sector, saying the country lost nine years of development during the time the company was in the private sector.

During the launch of a mid-week passenger train service from Livingstone to Lusaka today, Mr Zulu said the country lost nine years of development when the former MMD government sold the railway sector to a private company.

He pointed out that the railway sector was in a deplorable state during the time it was in private hands and made meagre contributions to the development of the country.

Mr Zulu thanked the government for the bold decision to repossess the rail way sector, adding that his union bled to the heart to see how deplorable the sector became.

“We thank the government for the bold decision it took to repossess the Zambia railways because as a country we lost nine years of development due to the pathetic condition of the railway company when it was in private hands,” said Mr Zulu.

“And our plea as a union is for this government or any government to come never again to privatise the company which is one of the major contributors to development of our economy,” he added.

The union leader said he was aware that government has set colossal sums of money to resuscitate Zambia Railways, adding that the launch of the mid-week train service from Livingstone to Lusaka was one positive effort by government to improve and deliver better railway transport services to the people.

He also challenged the Zambia Railway to change the negative perception that people have about the railway transport.

Mr Zulu further said for its part the union will work together with government to realise its plans of improving the railway sector and will only offer constructive criticism where things go wrong.

Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle) flags off the launch of the midweek train service in Livingstone on Wednesday afternoon as Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (middle) and Livingstone City Council public relations manager Emmanuel Sikanyika (far right) look on in Livingstone
Southern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga (middle) flags off the launch of the midweek train service in Livingstone on Wednesday afternoon as Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa (middle) and Livingstone City Council public relations manager Emmanuel Sikanyika (far right) look on in Livingstone

Earlier, Zambia Rail ways Regional Manager, Jawara Mubanga, said the launch was a formal invitation to all stakeholders in Zambia and worldwide to come aboard with the aim of revitalising the rail way sector.

Mr Mubanga also said the launch would address the transport challenges faced by
the underprivileged in society.

Last year the ruling Patriotic Front Government revoked the compulsory acquisition of concession rights that were granted to the Railways Systems of Zambia (RSZ) to operate and manage the railway network, citing mismanagement of the Zambia railways infrastructure and the rolling stock which in turn led to the deterioration of the Zambia railways assets and resultant loss to the country as a whole.

Meanwhile, Government has released a US$120 million grant to Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) to enable the railway firm to rehabilitate the railway network, chief executive officer Clive Chirwa has said.

Professor Chirwa has also announced that the railway firm would introduce fast trains to operate on the south-north route.

He said following the release of the funds, rehabilitation of the railway line would commence soon.

Prof Chirwa said apart from reconstruction of the rail track, ZRL would build another railway line alongside the existing one from Chingola to Livingstone.

“We already received a grant of $120 million money from the Government. We know just rehabilitation is not good enough because we need to build a railway line of tomorrow to a standard of moving locomotives and trains,” he said.

He said ZRL would ensure that the railway system promoted national development and ensure people traveled safely for work between towns.

Prof Chirwa said coming from a highly sophisticated technological environment, he did not see how he could not design wagons, a railway line as well as a passenger coach and advanced locomotives.

“Today [January 31, 2012], I will be presenting a document to Government in Lusaka at 18:00 hours to highlight especially how the design will be done. The design is already on the computer and people will see the model,” he said.

About 980km of the railway line from Chingola to Livingstone would be rehabilitated in three years.

He said the new ZRL commercial department would revamp all the stations which were currently deplorable.

 a newly launched midweek train at Livingstone station
a newly launched midweek train at Livingstone station



    • All the votes are going against you dude!! withdraw this statement..

      LT put a delete or edit button on this blog

    • These are just dreamers!!!!!! prof is better off abroad than waste his skills,experience and knowledge on people who dont appreciate.The man am told is paid peanuts compared to what he gets abroad but is in it for selfish political ambitions.

    • Can’t we have even one progressive move but we must mix in jaundiced politics? If Prof Clive is happy to render service to the country at a salary that some baffoons think is too low, then what? If he has political ambitions, so what? What matters is that he rehabilitates and improves our railway transport system! Why not wait and see what he can do? SIckening!

    • Its not economically sustainable to have a rail in southern province.
      let the prof build a rail in his dreams to link the following areas of importance:

      nakonde to chipata
      solwezi to chingola
      Matero to UTH underground tube

      ACE DA BOSS residence to STATE HOUSE

    • Every long journey starts with a single step! We need to support Clive, he is not going to change things in one day. It is a process that will take time, investment and political will. The least we can do as citizens is not to start shooting down Clive’s ideas. The damage to the railway system is huge and it will take time to repair.

  1. This is great news. Am impressed cant wait to use it! Now we need to ensure that we have a good maintenance team. Furthermore we need to ensure that we have a good sanitary system on-board (some of our citizens do not understand the importance of cleanliness).

    Please could you enlighten me on the ticketing procedure!

    • In as much as this is good, its not so good if you look at it economically. The main factor here is time (Lusaka to Livingstone) how many hours will a train take compared to a coach?? We talk of comfort, convenience. These are what people will look at in deciding the mode of transport. The professor should have looked at goods transportation first

    • in your dreams am very sure you will use it first class for that matter.Dont be fooled zambia will need about 200 billion dollars to have world class locomotive machine which even levitates on the rail.speed trains!!!! Do you have that money up you assss?

    • Points absorbed

      1) I believe the first step will be to acknowledge that our standards and resources as a developing nation are expected to be far less than that of a developed economy if we are to use a developed economy as our benchmark (this will do for now). My concern for now is the maintenance aspect of it.

      2)You argue “time” as a factor and rightfully so (depending on your agenda), I argue “diversity” & “competitiveness” as priority. No need to look at their benefits

      3) Agreeably, rail is traditionally strong in transporting heavy and bulk commodities. Although, rail freight declined it has great growth potential. I opine that we need to devise a strategy first before plunging into this aspect. ( Lets call it “neighbor alliances analysis”) 100% benefit to to…

    • @BEMBAMAN#2.2
      One wonders where you source your information which substantiates your ignorance. Look around Zambia and, inform and educate the world more about Zambia’s mineral ores. Let me bring it to your attention that Zambia has mineral ores worth about Two trillion US dollars. That country is one of the wealthiest nations on earth, however, it has stark contrasts in terms of the distribution of the country resources. The so called investors are benefiting billions of US dollars and transfering those funds to their off-shore accounts. Zambia does not benefit meaningfully because the system of taxation is flawed. There is great hope that rightfully concerned educated young Zambians of the future can change this mess.
      The system of taxation is divided into 3 phases and Zambians can…

  2. Here we go again, guchuku, poooooooooweeeeeee. Chitima chabola. THIS IS ZAMBIA RAILWAYS. LET’S DO IT! Thanks Prof. Chirwa. Give this man all the necessary support! If we continue to invest in our systems we we way have the Shinkanzen type in 90 years!

  3. How many people use trains as compared to coaches?? Most travelers are business men/women and time as they say is money, they opt to get from A to B in the shortest possible time & a train falls short on that besides comfort & convenience. I can advise the professor to look into goods-train business, this will help remove some of the heavy machinery being transported via our roads hence reducing the life span of the roads.

    • @says; where have you been? You seem to be out of the loop concerning current affairs in Zambia. What you are talking about has already been articulated by Prof Chirwa.

      If you are one of those people with plenty of money to travel, please do not despair! Your preferred mode of transportation will survive the reintroduction of the passenger train. Nonetheless, be reminded that there are plenty other Zambians with limited means who will greatly be impacted by this move.

      By the way, not everybody who travels is in a hurry to get to a business meeting & such. These are the people who will definitely appreciate passenger train services. Even in rich countries, people love trains because they are cheaper and safer than driving or being transported on Highways!

    • Yambayamba i bet you will never even set foot on those trains. This is a backward move. The prof should have started by upgrading those locomotives to faster ones, since upgrading would cost alot of money why not use the existing locomotives for goods transportation then in future(after getting enough funds) upgrade to faster locomotives which can ferrying people faster. The ones we have are just too slow it will take 2days Livingstone to Lusaka as opposed to 5hrs via bus. If buss fares are high why cant government subsidize fuel for public transport so that fares are reduce to cater for everyone

    • @says: All I can tell you is that let us start somewhere; shall we!!!! You cannot expect to run a marathon without learning how to walk, let alone, running itself first!

      If this is all we can afford in the meantime, I say we push ahead and keep upgrading until such a time when we can afford all the bells and whistles of a modern rail system. The rail systems you see in Europe, America, or Asia today did not just mushroom out of thin air. It too them decades to bring them to the standards they are at today.

      This of course went hand in hand with the growth of wealth in these countries. As they got richer, infrastructure also got better, but they sure didn’t wait until they had all the money to do everything at once, NO! So what is wrong with Zambia taking the same approach?

    • It is a good Idea. In developed countries trains serve that purpose. Just to educate you they have fast trains cruising at 400Km/h ie 1hr from KT to LSK. The Prof has traveled far and wide and knows what he is talking about. All he needs is support from the powers that be. Imagine Staying in KT and working in LSK everyday. It is just the time frame he’s given himself which is short.

    • How much does he intend to make from resurrecting this project as opposed to goods train. He can easily be transporting copper & put trackers out of business. we ship out tons & tons of copper everyday

    • This surely is good news and long overdue. Some of us are afraid to hop onto those coaches because of the way they are driven. A couple of years back while on holiday in Zambia I wanted to travel to Tanzania to visit a friend who was at university with me in the netherlands. I was informed there was a bus service from inter city bus station to Dar-es-salaam. But a good friend advised I would be taking a very big risk because of the poor road safety record on our roads. My friend advised that if I really wanted to go that badly I was better off going by train. By train I would be rest assured of getting there and back in one piece.

  4. Its amazing that a human being can seat on those seats from Livingstone to Lusaka am sure for 12 hours in this modern day and time. A bus would take u 4 – 5 hours. My advise to the Prof is do not waste the US$150m on passenger rail transport for a few villagers to get to Lusaka. I travelled on that train from Livingstone to Kitwe in the 80’s and it took 2 days. Its just not economically sustainable. Even a fast train will not work because the population does not warrant the capital cost of a fast train.

    Concentrate on building a goods rail transport. Zambia and DRC will soon be producing 1 million tons of finished copper for export that what you need to transport.

    • He is working on it – more and more goods are starting to go by train.

      ….and if you have seen the chaos at intercity you will learn very quickly that there are a lot of Zambians travelling. A good train service for human beings does not hurt at all does it?

    • Some people simply want to argue a non-point, yes?! If you carefully read this article you will see that even Prof Chirwa is disgusted by the state of the coaches, and he plans to do something about it. This he has made very clear in the past and in this article. Therefore, people start to wonder what your point is in your posting bwana @The Engineer (Australia)!

      He is also talking about building a parallel line next to the existing one so GOODS and PASSENGER services can be efficient. This is where the bulk of the money, will be invested. No one thinks passenger services alone can be profitable. But it would be very stu!p and irresponsible to leave it out of the planning. Prof Chirwa is also an ‘Engineer’, and apparently with a sounder & visionary mind than you bululu.

  5. This is absolutely good thing I hope they have equally put measures in place to insure rail tracks are maintained and security provided as most were stolen to avoid a short lived celebration of such a awesome news to any unforeseen tragedy. Well done PF

  6. . I can tell you are not an exposed man for you to say that,you think you reason better than the prof,thats why his saying they wil introduce a fast train,havn’t you seen the trains that are in Europe and how fast they are? Ifintu its step by step. Great step Prof.Chirwa and ZR management,wishing you the best and am impressed with the insude of that train,the last time I got on a TAZARA train going to see my grandparents in Kasama,I was very disapointed.

    • Am sure u referring to me… simple calculation

      Passengers per coach = 55
      Coaches per train = 20
      Fair per passenger (am guessing) = US$50

      Revenue per trip = 55*20*50 = US$55,000

      Assuming 10% do not pay

      Revenue = US$49,500

      Revenue is approximately 24,000 litres of fuel not even enough to cover that train trip

    • to give you an indication, the London Metro transports 3million people per day. Thats how the make the money. A few villagers and goats will not just cut it

    • You will require to tranport the whole population of Zambia in a month on a fast train to warrant the cost.

    • When did the prof know it all?? We respect him as a prof and a father but he can also take advise from us his human too

    • @The Engineer (Australia): I strongly doubt the London Metro is self-sustaining as you may think. I am not very familiar with London politics and budgets, but I still whether the London metro is as profitable as you think. What is true, however, is that most countries who heavily rely on metro systems (subways and the like,) more often than not, heavily subsidized these systems. This is surely true here in the US.

      Mostly govts do this in order to reduce air pollution and congestion on the already crowded roads. Can you imagine the congestion if everybody drove say in New York City, Tokyo, or London? First of all, business would come to a standstill because no one would be able to get to work. Secondly, not everybody can afford a car; and this is where govt comes in!

  7. Congratulation Prof Chirwa for the hard work you are putting in to bring back the lost glory.GOD bless , i wish you the best of lucky so that you become president one day.

  8. good development. hope the new trains will have better seats than the ones iam seeing. at least the won out station tarmac is free from papers and other rubbish.

  9. Learn to encourage good things and not to be negative all the time. @ Engineer (Australia) What is wrong with transporting villagers to Lusaka? Ni Zambia yabo ala iwe. The issue is, we ‘ve got to start from somewhere. We cannot have bullet trains all of a sudden. We must take up our challenges and face them. As we go along, we learn and make improvements to the level where you can stay in Ndola or Livingstone but you work in Lusaka. The ZAMBIA RAILWAYS train takes you every morning and brings you back in the evening in travel time of 1 hour. Let’s do what we can rather than surrendering everything to crooked suckers in them of investors when they may be infestors.

  10. Guys lets give credit where it due,Rome was not built in a day,this is stepping stone towards greater things to come.A lot of Zambians cannot afford the CR and other luxury coaches,this would be their alternative,maintenance is what we need to worry about,other wise its a step in the right direction.

  11. A matter of interest….

    Gautrain in South Africa total cost for only 140 km was US$2.8bn

    Livingstone – Chingola approx 1070Km

    If you do the maths

    Capital cost of a fast train Livingstone/Chingola = US$21.4bn

    Thats more than the GDP of Zambia.

    Its a nice way of the Prof campaigning to become for president to ignorant people

    • Calculations based on how many years of services? Every development at that level of service looks at the future generation. Even building a soccer stadium, that might be used only on weekends, is a very costly exercise. However, you look at the impact such national developments bring into the country. There are so many hidden benefits that accrue through such developments. The cost might be recovered when you and I have passed on, but the national would have benefited. Do not confuse us with your calculations.

    • You are looking at that amount with a short term vision. We are talking about a long term investment. Prof Chirwa never gave himself a time frame at which to accomplish this task like his appointing authorities’ 90 days whatever. I am sure he knows the task ahead of him is gigantic and he wouldn’t make that mistake. He is also aware of the kilometers that are there between L/stone and Chingola (or Kitwe).

    • Surely, we can always be pessimist about everything as a people but where there is a will to succeed there is always a way. And one has to take a first step! If we don’t try, how then do will find out what we are capable of as a nation?

      I think @The Engineer (Australia), your mentality is so self-defeating that stepping outside of our comfort zone (mediocrity) as a country seems daunting to you. And you think all Zambians should as pessimist as you are about everything. I doubt these people haven’t thought through the same issues you are raising here. The best we can do at the moment is to applaud their efforts so far—it wouldn’t hurt!

      There is a big difference between being a REALIST and being a CYNIC. And you bwana ‘Engineer’ are close to the later!!!

    • And if i may ask, if you are really an Engineer of substance and has Zambia at heart, why can’t you come to assist Prof Chirwa? Or you have chosen to be an arm-chair critique?

    • Please do not confuse people with your calculations. The Prof HAS NOT said we will bring in a fast train similar to the Gautrain. I m sure there are other systems cheaper he is looking at. Do not be critical based on political affiliations.

    • The Engineer(Australia)
      Your argument and its contents are irrelevant to the Zambian scenario above.
      First, the Gautrain is an underground project which was constructed well deep below most sensetive sites and other buildings in Africa’s richest business hub.
      Second, the contracted foreign firms had to drill through an extremely hard rock with the most expensive drilling equipment imported from Germany.
      Third, the Gautrain is an expensive train and in the case of Zambia, experts will not opt to buy Gautrain coaches

  12. Excellent work Prof Chirwa. Your words are accompanied by action. Great son of the soil well done. Hope ukwa and Wynter wont frustrate you

    • No no no. This is the wrong mindset. One cant be everything? You need politicians yes but you also need engineers, CEO’s medical Doctors, Metallurgists etc.
      If a Metallurgist becomes a Perm Sec, he loses the acumen in the metallurgical circles. We don’t want to lose such rare skills.

  13. Some fools just criticize unnecessarily ,learn to know how things start,you will be shamed,in other countries buses are lessly used for long distance unlike trains,wake up you bakamushi,this a positive move!

    • Are you comparing the TGV & BULETT train to that locomotive which will take 2 days from Lusaka to Livingstone?? A bus will only take 5hrs why use the train. To me thats going backwards. In Europe trains are competing with aero planes for fast traveling because they are fast(some do over 400KM/H) and that roads are congested with unending traffic jams so using a bus will take you forever.

  14. who ‘s going to benefit form the trains services..?there are alot of thieves and the railway line has been tempered with..

  15. ZRL had always been a badly managed company both as public and private. I remember in 1980 it took 16 hrs to get to Kitwe from Lusaka. The train could stop for hours in the middle of nowhere and no apologies offered. I swore upon myself that I would never use ZR ever again. Talk about negative perception, ZR brings frightful nightmares to those who suffered at its incompetence. I hope the new management will pull it off. But the task will demand fundamental reorganization and restructuring.

  16. People please! This whole passenger thing cant work out be be a viable business! Get over the past glory,what kind of people are you? Let Clive concetrate on Goods train otherwise you will be the same people that will lynch clive for having wasted a lot of money on that useless project.

    • That is why he is CEO of ZRL & you are not!!! Any small complement to BULK GOODS TRANSPORT CANNOT GO AMISS – it is ALL INCOME TO THE COMPANY, & who knows, HE COULD UPSET the Transportation cart in Zed if he were to woo the poor & middle income earners to travel on his trains, rather than the death traps called buses!!

  17. In as much as I may have everything against the PF government…..where there is hope it is good to appreciate and encourage. I am told a number of former ZRL employees are being called back here in Chingola…That’s commendable

  18. I see alot of bloggers can easily accept a steam engine since water is in abundance. The slow locomotives we have can be used for transporting goods, when it comes to people the prof should just find faster trains otherwise this is more like accepting a steam engine instead of a turbo charged gasoline engine. Buses are far better than trains @ this point. If buses are expensive lets find a solution as a country and make the affordable to everyone.

    I know everyone supporting this here will never even board those trains, you just want your fellow citizens to suffer on those trains which dont even have an entertain system

    • I can assure you your batteries will be flat before you reach some nice views to take pictures of or you will be asleep(most of the time) & dead tired because of lack of on board entertainment and they are notoriously uncomfortable.

    • @ Maria K.

      A one-week holiday? Good idea, you’ll need just about that much time to get there and back by train. Have fun.

  19. Echii ciitima ndubono lwanu mutacinyonyauni! I remember this words as a kid exays! How long will a trip from Livingstone to Lusaka take? Any way with all the coaches on the road its gona be a competition indeed.

    • hahahaha and imagine someone who will never get on that train is supporting this. Kanshi fwe ma Zambians twabashabni?? How are we??

  20. Mid-week train? In those days trains used to run everyday between L/stone and Lusaka – and people actually enjoyed using them. Years of neglect and lack of capitalisation has seen people and business turning to the roads. Like someone suggested, I would prefer that any meaningful rehabilitation of the railways has in mind, first, the transportation of goods. ( more goods and stock at lesser cost and reduction of pressure on the inadequate road system )

  21. Well done prof. How I wish this was also happening to TAZARA. Ba PF, why dont you cut this Tanzanian nonses and let TAZARA terminate at Nakonde so that Zambia Railways becomes ONE mwebantu. Zambian TAZARA employees are suffering coz of the greed of the Swahilis. You have to be mad to work with a Tanzanian. PF, do something.

  22. good start.But have they worked on the railway line itself,e.g demolishing all the houses along the line and also building back the boom gates???

  23. Next the should make you minster of Transport and Communication. We need an overhaul of the whole Transportation and Communication industry. I was president you would be responsible for that ministry without any question. Your experience and qualification can bring about change.

  24. HH must be smiling for a change although he will not show it because HH will be using it most regulary bringing mabisi and cow dung to Kopala. Kekekekekeke.

  25. This is good new proffessor. Please continue with that good spirit. This will eventually remove budden off roads and create safe transportation. One step at a time. Next stop dual railing from livingstone to chingola. Also do something on that kapiri road and railway intersection. Think of constructing an over pass there please. Thats a safety issue there. All rail crossing should now have lighting signals with solar panels as alternative source

    • livingstone to chingola wont a train take a week?? why do you want those slow moving trains to ferry people instead of goods. We need faster trains for people

  26. This is fantastic “The design is already on the computer and people will see the model,” This what we need as a country there is to much carnage on our roads we lose lives almost every day . the rail transport is far much safer It is better to be late than to be the late.

  27. Ask me in 2014, exactly this time. I know the clown Chirwa, I know where he worked, I know what he can and can’t do. For sure, this job is well beyond his capabilities. But it is okay for ever naive Zambians to believe him….why shouldn’t they, if a population can vote into power somebody like Sata, what more a younger clown like Chirwa. What is killing the Zambian population is widespread low IQ and that is the major problem against development…they keep going round and round in circles. I predicted we were going out in the first round at AFCON, but the usual dull chaps kept on shouting “great kalu, great renard”…I’m not so sure those people are still great, meanwhile they have been collecting and still continue to collect their pay cheques. Good luck with Chirwa the clown.

  28. I hope the prof will eventually consider unbundling the organisation, i.e. separating the infrastructure from the rolling stock. That way, Zambia Railways can concentrate on managing the track and other infrastructure, while private investors run the trains – much like what they have in the UK. With a good track network in place, private operators can run lighter and faster trains.

  29. If the train systems are revamped, we can float gas prices and increase the cost per litre by about 100% of current cost such that the traffic situation in Lusaka can be sorted out temporarily. If a train fare can cost just slightly above a bus fare, it means that one who owns a car but cannot afford gas anymore can enjoy getting around without suffering traffic delays. Socialism has to come to an end in Zambia!

  30. I urge the PF Government and the government that would take over over from the PF to secure Prof. Chirwa. He only needs support from fellow Zambians and financial support from government for him to carry out his vision. Let’s not politicise his appointment, in fact, out of all the appointments the PF has made, this is the best. Lets give him time. Negativity won’t help.

  31. Ifintu nipanono, surely we need to support this cause, this will reduce fatal accidents on our dilapidated roads. This is a good start and when the number of users increase we can think of more advanced trains. In the meantime we should be able to use these and probably just refurbish them, they are not that bad!

  32. The prof has done something which some people could not do some years ago,what do some people want?someone sitting through and through or at least something being done? Those that are writing about how long it will take to either get to Lusaka or Stone are shallow minded,it’s about means of transportation,if you wish to move faster and you have some finances,there is a wide choice(Air transport if you can manage,Road,Rail and so on…don’t just be critical for the sake of trying to be heard….This country needs us all to develop,this country is not for politician….and for those that where born here and now in Europe or where ever,don’t forget that you used tax payers’ money to be educated that side,learn to appreciate what this country has done for you.


  34. yesss!dr chirwa good job mukwasu..its about time we decongested the roads..trains are safer mwe..i look forward to using the train..we shud also think of ways to link it with tourism..a south african friend of mine travelled by train from kapiri to TZ she commended the scenic route,but wondered why as zambians we havent thought of using the rail to our advantage in this regard..I like prof chirwa..do ur job my good man and silence the nay sayers..pa zambia we need to stop this pull me downsyndrome..wel never develop..lets be positive ala imwe

    • One can tell that Rupiah(Money) & his cohorts, really did leave an unforgivable & indelible mark on your brains!! I empathise!

  35. If Zambians are making improvements in their homeland, then well and good. Critics should see for themselves the achievements which both Sata’s government and other Zambians have achieved. The above example serves as the proof of Sata’s beginning/continuation of good projects for Zambians and by Zambians. It is nice to see Zambians using good clean trains in their own country not seeing or hearing Zambians praising other people’s better facilities in foreign lands.
    No matter how confortable a Zambian is, irrespective of your new citizenship in a wealthy nation, one always wishes that Zambia should be rich as well. The innermost self always argues with your otherself (the deviant self) in favour of Zambia’s huge success in future .This sort of internalisation forces one to be an…

  36. The rail passenger service wont be able to compete with road transport. How many times are you people going to be reminded that you have to uproot Cecil Rhodes rail line and lay a new one? Chirwa can squeaky clean those passenger wagons but he wont be able to make them run efficiently and on time because the bloody line is more than a century old. He is going to fail. The focus shold have been making sure that cargo is removed from the roads on to the rail. And that should have started with rehabilitating the rail line!

    • I have appointed you as the CEO for Zambia Railways with immediate effect. I want you to produce a detaile business plan and implentaion model of how you will revamp our cherished ZRL to the level where it can become both competitive and a service provide for our people in rural places.

    • @ The Engineer (Australia) I like reading your comments, just loved the last one. Most people here are ignorant, they are learned but not intelligent. Even if the project succeeds in a decade, two or three it’s not justifiable because it will be a loss making venture that cannot sustain itself. The passengers and goods volume will not be enough to offset running and maintenance cost for fast trains. History will repeat itself if it kicks off. they are all praising the man because he is an engineer and has a PHD or Dr and has said so. This is business not qualification. There reasoning is just as bad as saying a white man is better than a black man. they lack self belief and confidence in their own judgement and only wait for one perceived to be better to lead them.

    • That is why he is CEO & you’re not!! He hasn’t said his raison d’ etre IS TO RUN A PASSENGER SERVICE ON THE SAME OLD LINE!!!

  37. The train will transport alot of Tongas who cant afford to get to Lusaka by Bus!! Well done Prof Chirwa this is what we promised as PF its a govt for all!!

  38. The Engineer (Australia) kwena walinwa, no no no no. I lke your analysis. Convincing with figures, not “Pakanwa Fye”.Come back to Zambia also and run our economy. Unlike these other village bloggers who are myopic with their chocking calibre.

  39. My take is that we should be looking at self sustainability of the railway system and not think we can subsidise it forever. Goods trains must be the main focus of the whole project considering the high cost of road repairs and construction. while passenger service could be used to as an addition. The UNIP govt borrowed heavily to undertake unsustainable projects and Zambia was in huge debt and the rest we know what we went through. Do we have to go through that route again. i believe NOT. Lets NOT be imitators of what other nations but we need to analyse our situation. Zambia will soon reach over 1 million tonnes of copper. do we wnat it on our roads?

  40. If this is the attitude we have as country to everything then I can safely say we are lost as a nation and I cry for our children. If the Prof. Clive thinks and hopes to revive the railway system in this country then I will support him 100%. This is not about who is in govt or who appointed who, it’s about national development. We need the railway system revived and revamped because it will greatly reduce the cost of road maintenance which is chewing a lot from our coffers. Some of you bloggers want to shoot down everything because you don’t believe in a particular party. If it will improve the nation stuff the party you belong to and support every good cause.

  41. i m going on board that train next wednesday zambians and their problems when your wives/husbands refuses to have sex with u for 6 months u start bring your frustration on what prof is doing get a life…

  42. Those that want to see a certain person at plot1,their party in govt wil pretend not see any thing good that the pf admintrastion is doing.if it we’re them launching that project,a known site wud ve blown a trumpet mammoth mammoth

  43. @the engineer Australia and your fellow clowns!!if you where a better engineer than the prof u would have been known world over.shut up with yo negativity let the man do his job he said 3yrs let’s wait I saw the trains he designed.the man knows what he is doing and he needs support from all zambians…about time we change our thinking as zambians.#just good at criticising and can’t offer solutions

  44. bembaman i think you r nothing but a piece of shit, you have to think big to be big, lets all support chirwa. i know how you feel and how you think, coz starting from early childhood, your church going days to primary school and high school, you have been told that Zambia is a poor country, and that God does not like rich people, and tha it is good to be poor and leave in filthy , and you believe it. none of that is true. i know countries that were poor than zambia in 1964 and could not afford to buy shit, today they have monorails, today they build their own high speed trains. what prof Chirwa is doing now is putting a dream in zambian youths, for them to start believing in science and not religion, for them to start believing in themselves, because zambia will only be developed by zmbns

  45. Guys! What is wrong with you kashi? Any genuine project has never been easy through out the world. What is key is to start it. Please learn from other countries. Those big things we see in other countries never occurred at the same time and it was easy to build them. I was in Toronto and when I went to certain places, I was amazed at the striking similarity to some places I saw in Beijing.
    What Clive is talking about has been done in other countries when there was literally nothing from the start. Zedians, get going and support Clive. Those so called “doctors” trying to discredit Clive have never done anything new. All they do is read the books written by others and teach the same stuff they have read to students and get paid month in month out. No innovation at all!!

  46. I have traveled to a lot of countries in Europe, Asian, North America and South America and when I see the infrastructure and other developmental engineering master pieces I fail to enjoy the fun. I keep asking myself why we cant have such development in Zambia. Zambian Engineers trained in Zambia are all over these countries doing the real thing. We have vast resources and money( we can afford to bury K2 billion in the soil and afford to buy countless designer shoes and wastes a lot of it to buy votes during campaign). The only thing we need to change is the selfish attitude, and then have a long term view. Our politicians plus most Zedians are very shortsighted. No one asks the question as to what Zambia in general will be in 20 years time. I mean a greater picture for Zambia and not

  47. I have noticed pa Zed everyone wants to be everything especially the politicians. They want to be economist, engineers, accountants, everything; it does not work like that. Having an idea of something does not make you an expert. How can Kavindele talk about engineering?
    We need to learn to punish the wrong doers (those who steal GRZ money and those who do not do the right thing after the money has been paid to them but they do shoddy construction work) Those who engage in corruption must start getting fired so that whoever comes to replace them must know that the previous guy was fired and got arrested due to corruption. We seem to reward badness in Zambia. So many billions of money have been cited in so many cases but no one has been arrested. This sends bad signal.

  48. @Engineer you have valid points. The math should check out, otherwise the project wont be sustainable. What Dr Chirwa is advocating to do should be encouraged but it should also be sustainable. That being said I would encourage Dr Chirwa justify his plans with the economic sustainability.

    If we are going to grow as a country we should always ask people to back their pronouncements with numbers. In Zambia, we seem to overlook this. Maybe that’s why we are where we are

  49. After reading most of the comments my diagnosis is that many of you are suffering from what I can call as the DIASPORA DISEASE. The following are the symptoms:
    1. Stupidly appearing to know better than all Zambians at home, because if you really knew better you could have stayed or come back home to implement your ‘better’ ideas
    2. Shooting down all innovative and developmental ideas that people at home may come up with but not able to provide alternatives
    3. Thinking that nothing positive can ever work back at home (no wonder some of you chickened out)

    4. And worst of all, venting all your frustrations out there on people at home because you are afraid of coming back knowing you will be a misfit….ba some of us for nothing

    Big Ups to Micheal Sata. Glories days are back. Go…

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