LUSAKA– Zambia Railways Limited plans to overhaul its railway system in Copperbelt Province while new tracks will also be constructed in new mining areas to facilitate the smooth flow of heavy cargo.

Its Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Musonda, says the overhaul is aimed at ensuring effective implementation of a Statutory Instrument which took effect last moth compelling transporters of heavy cargo to transfer 30 per cent of bulk cargo from road to rail.

Addressed the media in Kitwe, about 350 kilometres north of here, during a visit to the province over the past week, Musonda said most of the railway tracks on the Copperbelt had been vandalised and encroached upon.

The company will also demolish all illegal structures built within railway reserves and lines to protect cargo and human lives. Plans are underway to demolish all illegal structures sitting on railway systems and rehabilitate vandalised inter-mine tracks while new ones will also be laid to service new mines.

Musonda added that the company has set up six inland ports across the country for the effective transportation and delivery of heavy cargo.

He said all mines in Copperbelt and North Western provinces have been engaged on the Statutory Instrument and the response so far is good.

He added that the company had also bought new locomotives and that some of the heavy bulk cargo expected to be transported by rail would include copper, cobalt concentrates, sugar, coal, cement, sulphur and fuel.

The Government issued the Statutory Instrument on Jan 26 to shift 30 per cent of heavy and bulk cargo from road to rail.