Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) says out of the US$120 million government has injected in the rail company, one per cent will go to the purchase of new telecoms equipment that will improve communication on the mainline and improve safety.
Exhibiting at the Zambia International Trade Fair after ten-years of absence, Zambia Railways Director for Marketing, Sydney Tembo, said part of the money from government will be used for the rehabilitation of some railways infrastructure and rolling stock and purchase of passenger coaches.
“There is an overfull demand for passenger services. People scramble to get on our trains because they are 20 per cent cheaper than road fairs. In order to meet our customer demand, we need to purchase 50 passenger coaches. 21 per cent of the money will go buying the passenger coaches while 11 per cent will go purchasing more wagons,” he said.
Mr Tembo said 60 per cent of the money will go towards rehabilitating the tracks and will result in improved speed capacity and in the end offer better service deliveries to customers.
He said by September this year, ZRL would have started receiving equipment to start rehabilitating infrastructure because the company has started the tender procedure and will soon find a supplier.
Mr Tembo said freight transportation is the core business of ZRL and the company is involved in the transportation of inter-mine, local, exports, imports and transit cargo for Zambian and regional economies, adding that with new and improved equipment in place ZRL will compete favourably and network with other countries in the region.