Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) Northern Region Manager, Obed Galatia has described transporting of over one million tonnes of cargo in the year 2020 midst Covid19 challenges as a huge milestone.
Mr Galatia has commended the company’s employees for their effort to actualise the milestone.
Speaking during the launch of golf t-shirts for employees to celebrate the 2020 freight performance at ZRL offices in Kitwe, Mr Galatia said despite the railway company facing numerous challenges ranging from inadequate rolling stock and a rundown railway line, workers are still managing to work hard and achieved 1, 020, 115 tonnes of freight.
“The last achieved a performance of above one million tonnes in 2006, 14 years ago,” Mr Galatia said.
I want to encourage the workers not to relax but continue putting in their best to maintain the same achievement or even surpass it,” he said.
He said operating at optimal capacity, the railway company, has the potential to haul at least five million tonnes of freight per annum.
However, he stressed that the poor state of the railway track, coupled with inadequate rolling stock has contributed to the company operating way below its capacity.
He said at the moment, goods trains move at a speed of 25 kilometers per hour instead of the expected 80 kilometers per hour.
Mr Galatia said plans are underway to present a proposal to Government for purposes of finding resources to rehabilitate the railway track.
He said the cost needed to repair the engine track from Livingstone to Chililabombwe will only be known once the proposal is completed.