Benguela Railway 1903


Construction of the line was initiated in by the Portuguese government in 1899. In 1903, Sir Robert Williams' Benguela Railway Company took over construction of the line. The primary purpose of the line was to be export trade, with domestic uses as secondary. The line was very profitable, especially in the early 1970s when Zambia closed the border with Rhodesia. After independence in 1975, the Angolan Civil War brought operations to a halt, and most of the infrastructure remains damaged or destroyed. Talks between Zambia and Angola regarding the restoration of operations began in 2005.