Rail firm ponders PPP approach on commuter train

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 08:24:07 +0000

By MAILESI BANDA

ZAMBIA Railways Limited will embrace the Public Private Partnership investment plan in the operationalisation of the commuters’ train, says chief executive officer, Christopher Musonda.

Mr. Musonda said the state-owned rail transport operator is soliciting for would-be investors to partner with and start operating the commuter train.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation, he said they will conduct a study on the network in Lusaka targeting the congested areas and how rail infrastructure can be built in the areas.

Mr. Musonda noted that the study will ascertain how they will operate an effective commuter project.

“The network running is not good, we need to do a study and come up with a cost on construction for the railway line because the commuter train cannot operate on the main line.”

“There are efforts to see if we can have a private sector partnership and we have so far received expressions of interest from a number of private entities that are both local and international,” Mr. Musonda said.

He said the running of the Michel Chilufya Sata commuter train has been halted due to the operation coats adding that a study has been instituted on the potential in highly populated areas.

“Operating the commuters’ train had become expensive because we are unable to manage the costs and to make the project viable we need to buy appropriate locomotives and wagons for a commuter train,” he said.

And, Mr. Musonda disclosed that they have concluded the business plans for the operations of the company which is divided into a short, medium and long term plan which will focus mainly on track rehabilitation.

He said about 70 percent of the concentration in the three plans will focus towards track rehabilitation.

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