LÜDERITZ - There was excitement at Lüderitz on Wednesday when the harbour town witnessed the return of a goods train for the first time in 17 years.
This train from Keetmanshoop was transporting crushed stone used in the construction industry.
The train arrived in Lüderitz at around 10h30.
Resident engineer of Kleber & Associates Consulting Engineers Victor Musungo told New Era the goods train came through Lüderitz railway station for the first time after 17 years, and that a normal train will be operated by TransNamib once the railway line under refurbishment is completed.
He noted the goods train offloaded ballast at the railway station to be used to complete the railway line in Hafeni Street and to complete the railway line between Lüderitz and Aus.
Musungo said only a small piece of the railway line needs to be completed which will run to the harbour. There are two places where the railway line crosses the road, near Helene Van Rhijn Primary School and Kapps Hotel.
The railway line between Lüderitz and Aus was built during the German colonial era.
The construction commenced at Lüderitz in March 1906 and Aus was reached in October 1906.
Military troops were responsible for assisting in the laying of the tracks and the line was officially opened on November 1 1906.
The railway line has been used to carry passengers and freight to supply the southern part of Namibia with goods, and for the export of general merchandise through Lüderitz harbour.
Through all the years the then railway administration spent enormous sums of money on the maintenance of the line, especially to keep it clear of sand.
Since 1997 the railway line was de-commissioned due to poor track standards caused by the lack of maintenance, and in many areas the desert had encroached onto it.
Kleber & Associates Consulting Engineers was appointed in July 2000 to design and supervise construction of the rehabilitation project. The actual construction started in August 2001 and is still ongoing.
The main objective of the rehabilitation of the Aus-Lüderitz railway line is to provide adequate rail connection to Lüderitz port with the southern part of Namibia and bordering countries.
Residents of Lüderitz gathered at the railway line to see the train which ran on the renovated railway line still being constructed.
By Tuulikki Abraham New Era Reporter
2014-11-21 09:30:38 | 5 years ago