The International Steam Pages

The Railways of Southern Mocambique, April 2011

Thomas Kautzor reports on his visit, from 5th to 7th April 2011. Andrew Jones was in Mocambique in August 2012 and reports that he found the five Xai Xai steam locomotives in Maputo mentioned below, click on the thumbnails for a larger image: Paul Ash has identified them as respectively 012, 05, 06, 082 and either 083 or 081.

CFM Maputo 

The station is now the city’s major tourist attraction and during my visit the presence of a large number of tourists off cruise ships was constant, so once the museum opens it will have a guaranteed clientele. 

The museum will be housed in a building with two inside tracks, while another two covered tracks outside will host some of the larger exhibits, such as Garratt 972 brought down from the Beira system. For now, a number of small exhibits and documents have been gathered and restored/cleaned. Some staff were active making models of some of the larger ports and railway towns of Mozambique. Inside the museum there are three wooden coaches and a baggage van from Xai-Xai (750 mm gauge), which were restored (both outside and inside) to brand-new condition in 2003 with help of an Italian NGO (the same NGO also did work on the passenger coaches used in regular service). They are:

  • A.12 (Société Franco-Belge 1911, ex C.F. de Sao Tomé Governor’s coach);

  • A.1 (Clayton Wagons Ltd., Abbey Works, Lincoln England 1924);

  • A.11 (Ateliers de La Croyère, Belgium 1911, ex CFST);

  • DF2 baggage van.

Outside the museum building, unrestored but good-looking stainless-steel railcar ACZvb 122 (Hitachi 1969) is expected to become a museum exhibit. Within the station ex-CFLM 4-6-0T 9 (Dübs 2760/1892) and ex-Xai Xai 0-4-0T 1 “Gaza” (Couillet 1216/1898) are plinthed under cover. The station also contains a restaurant/bar/jazz café, an art gallery, a craft shop and is the starting point of the Maputo City Tour, a rubber-tyred tourist train that goes around the city’s other tourist attractions four times a day (2 hrs., U$20/person).

Inside the roundhouse next to the running shed some distance from the station I found 0-10-0T 67 (Henschel 22381/1934), 4-6-2 332 (Henschel 29067/1955) in very good condition, plus the frames, cab and tender bunker of one of the Xai Xai Alco 2-6-0s (thought to be 082 - Alco 56023/16). Next to the steam locos are the bodies of two stainless-steel Hitachi railcars (one collision-damaged).

The following CFM diesels were seen in use or appeared serviceable:

  • D-67/086/89/105/30 (GE and GE Brazil U20C);

  • D-502 ((GE U10B 4756.2/1992);

  • D-606/7*/9/10 (DLW YDM-4, ex-India).

* plate “Refurbished at Central Workshops Golden Rock Indian Railways Aug. 2007”

On the left below is D-502 on a train to Matola, on the right D607 on a train to Chicualacuala.

According to CFM workers, there are only a dozen serviceable diesels on CFM Maputo system, half of which are Indian YDM-4.

Also seen in use was Djuro Djakovic 3-car DMU Z202 (BZ204/BZ205/BZ206, ex-CP Portugal, ex-JZ Yugoslavia), the only one of three sets that remains serviceable. Z201 (BZ201/BZ202/BZ203) was seen under repair at the running shed. During my visit Z202 operated the weekday services to Marracuene on the Limpopo line, while Maputo station shunter D-502 with three coaches substituted for the second Z200 diagram to Matola on the Ressano Garcia line.

None of the DH200 class Romanian B-B DHs remain in service at Maputo, however a few were said to be stored inside the Main Workshops.

Stored in the roundhouse were a number of GE U20C and Alsthom AD26C diesels, all awaiting repairs, and some with collision damages. The Alsthoms are being sent to South Africa for rebuilding. Included were the following:

  • D-101/20/5 (GE Brazil U20C)

  • D-401-4/6/11/2/4/5 (Alsthom AD26C 1992)

The far part of the roundhouse (3 tracks) is fenced off and houses the breakdown train, including a crane.

Outside in the yard Garratt 972 ex-Beira (Henschel 28643/1956) was awaiting restoration to be placed in the museum, together with an additional four derelict Hitachi railcars.

0-6-0T 1 (O&K 6997/1914) is still plinthed under cover in front of the main workshop’s office block nearby.

Most of the ex-Botswana coaches have been restored and repainted in a white-green livery. A few which were most damaged during transfer from Botswana are still stored at Maputo station, but were said to eventually go through the workshops. A few ex-SAR coaches, as well as some CFM stainless-steel coaches also remain in service.

The timetables are the same as those published on link dead by 25th August 2015..

A private company manages the Maputo container terminal and has recently acquired its own loco, a Funkey Morum 4wD which started working in January and is numbered D701. They have their own crews, which are ex-CFM.

Acucareira de Xinavane S.A.:

This large sugar mill is run by Tongaat Hulett, with cane transportation from the fields done by lorry (Unitrans). They have their own Cape gauge loco, a small yellow four-wheel diesel shunter numbered 3. I could find no trace of the former narrow gauge cane tramway.

CFM Xai Xai:

It took me 2.1/2 hours to drive there from Maputo, the road is in perfect condition. While the station building has been repainted and is well maintained, not much else is, the Clube Ferroviário behind the headshunt is still in use.

The goods shed is now a bottle depot and most of the tracks within the yard have been lifted. There are the poor remains of five locos here, plus two steel coaches, seven steel boxcars and one open wagon. The locos are:

  • 2-6-2 05 (Baldwin 59204/1926) without tender;

  • 2-8-0 06 (Baldwin 58180/1925) with tender;

  • 2-6-0 012 (Alco 61464/1919 with plate 61465) with tender (bunker only);

  • 2-6-0 013 or 081 (Alco 61465/1919 or 55840/1916) without tender;

  • 2-6-0 083 (Alco 56024/1916) with tender.

There is a skeleton CFM staff, headed by an engineer, as well as a large contingent from a private security firm to prevent outsiders from entering the yard.

As can be guessed from the photos, all fittings have been taken from the locos. They are in order, 06, 012, 082, 081 or 083. (As identified by Paul Ash, 081 or 083 is in pieces in Maputo).  

Rob Dickinson