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Railway systems of Zambia

Zambia Railways (ZR) is the national railway of Zambia, one of the two major railway organizations in Zambia, which may also be referred to as Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ). The other system is the binational TAZARA Railway (TAZARA) that interconnects with the ZR at Kapiri Mposhi and provides a link to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.

In Zambia, railways are the leading transportation mode for goods on the international and local routes. Total length of Zambian railway network is more than 2922 kilometers. 900 kilometers out of these are main lines while the rest of the network is branch line railway. Zambia Railways is the main railway line owned by government whereas the TAZARA line is jointly owned by Tanzanian and Zambian governments. This railway line connects Tanzania with Zambia. TAZARA (Tanzania Zambia Railways) trains run between Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Zambia railways operate a scheduled train service between the copper belt in the north and Livingstone in the south through Lusaka.

The main railway spine through the country today is the Zambia Railways line from Livingstone, via Lusaka, to Kitwe in the north, used by passenger and freight trains. At Kapiri Mposhi there is a junction with TAZARA that is used by freight trains but not passenger. TAZARA has its own passenger trains, but the passenger stations of the two railways at Kapiri Mposhi are separated by a distance of around 2km. Livingstone is also the junction with the Mulobezi line, and with the line from Zimbabwe via the Victoria Falls Bridge.

Classes

Tazara has four classes: 1st class sleeping (four-bed compartments), 2nd class sleeping (six-bed compartments), 2nd-class sitting (also called 'super seater') and economy (3rd) class (benches, usually very crowded). Men and women can only travel together in the sleeping sections by booking the entire compartment. At night, secure your window with a stick, and don’t leave your luggage unattended, even for a moment. Central Line has 1st class (four-bed compartments), 2nd class (six-bed compartments) and economy. There is also deluxe service on the Central Line (suspended temporarily as of mid-2017).

Facilities on board

  • Business class, Standard, economy coaches
  • Sleeper compartments
  • Snack coach(restaurant)
  • Air-conditioned coaches
  • Flushable toilets
  • Television sets and music system
  • Customer care service