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DRC: Resumption of traffic on Kinshasa-Matadi rail link after 15-year interruption

(Agence Ecofin) - Traffic has resumed on the railroad linking Kinshasa to the port city of Matadi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after a break of 15 years.

The event took place on Saturday 22 August, with the CEO of the Congolese Transports and Ports Trading Company (SCTP) Kimembe Mazunga, in attendance.

We are at the beginning, but I am happy to see the enthusiasm of the public. I did not expect to have more than 10 people on board. For a first journey, while people are still pessimistic, to have this crowd, it gives us confidence”, declared Mr. Mazunga to radio RFI’s correspondent who was at the traffic resumption on the 365-kilometer long rail line.

“We have consolidated the work and increased the stability of the railway, as there were sections which did not allow speeds of 20km/hour. Between Kasangulu and Kinshasa (45 km), the journey would take two and a half hours. Today, we can have speeds of up to 90 km/hour! The engines are much more reliable; we have done many tests”, he added.

Traffic on the Kinshasa-Matadi was suspended about fifteen years ago due to many fatal train derailments recorded back in the day.