Thursday, November 29, 2012

early Madagascar railways

An undated map. The railway lines today total 875 km.
Antananarivo station (La Gare de Soarano)
"the first railcar built at Tananarive"
The then French colony off the coast of mainland Africa began building railways in metre gauge in 1901 and Tananarive (Antananarivo) to Brickaville (Ampasimanolotra) was officially opened on 1 April 1909. A year later la Gare de Soarano in the capital was inaugurated.  Tananarive and Antsirabe were connected on 4 March 1912. Eventually a network of three railways became known as Réseau Nord.

Between 1926 and 1936, an isolated line, the Fianarantsoa-Côte Est railway (FCE), was built, again in metre gauge, in the south east of the island. The FCE was known as Réseau Sud.

The railways were nationalised in 1974 and privatised about 10 years ago.  More info here

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