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Report - Old Railway Depot - Moatize - Mozambique - August 2012

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by caiman, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. caiman

    caiman 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Moatize is a coal mining town in north western Mozambique. A railway (the Sena Railway) was built to link Moatize with the port of Beira on the Indian Ocean, some 550 km away.

    Mozambique became independent from Portugal in 1975 and a civil war immediately broke out between the Russian backed FRELIMO and the Rhodesian and later South African backed RENAMO. This war lasted for 17 years and resulted (amongst many other things) in the almost complete destruction of most of the country's transport system. This included the Sena Railway, which was blocked some time in the early 1980s. A small section near the town of Moatize continued to work, using the last two serviceable steam locomotives, but this finally stopped around 1991, apparently because the supplies of coal ran out.

    The ending of the civil war in the early 1990s saw a slow return to inward investment, including a renewed interest in the coalfields at Moatize. This renewed interest has seen massive inward investment, including a complete rebuilding of the Sena Railway which has now reopened. However, the old locomotive depot and rolling stock remains abandoned, just as it was left in 1991. There is some vague talk of preserving at least some of these locomotives, but so far nothing has been done.

    I was in Moatize on business, but managed to get enough spare time for a quick look around. And this is the result.

    Here's some pics:

    First up is 270; this was the last loco to work. Built by Henschel in Germany in 1955.

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    Next up is 253, also built by Henschel in 1955.

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    Another shot - 253's tender in front, 270 behind.

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    A couple of shots of the workshop area.

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    And now outside to look at the wrecks. This is 453, built by the Montreal Loco Works, Canada in 1947. 270 is behind in the shed.

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    A rather fine crane, interrupted in the midst of working. And a security guard.

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    Another wrecked loco; 59, built by North British in Glasgow in 1957. This was the second to last steam loco built in Glasgow (and also in Scotland).

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    And now a few more general shots

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    A Wickham inspection trolley

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    And finally, a few pics of a couple of much older locomotives. These are both semi-articulated Mallet type locos, built by ALCO in the USA in 1912. They were taken out of use some time in the 1960s and were dumped at the end of sidings. Both have subsequently been pushed off the rails, one ending up in a road and the other has been turned by 90 degrees and now hangs suspended on an embankment.

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    And here's the other.

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