The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) would like to set the record straight on wheat deliveries and give information to the nation on the progress made so far.

The NRZ has moved  cumulative 570 wagons of wheat to millers in the country between 1 October and 7 November 2018 which translates to a total of 20 800 tonnes of wheat.

At present, there are 15 wagons at Machipanda and 30 at Mutare carrying wheat which are awaiting delivery into the country.

Of these wagons, 39 are expected to be delivered to millers by 8 November 2018.

The NRZ has reverted to collecting wheat from the interchange point at Machipanda after the Mozambican rail authority indicated that it now had enough locomotives to move wagons from Beira to the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique from where the NRZ takes over the load.

Contrary to recent media reports which held the rail giant responsible for wheat delivery delays, the NRZ would like to express serious concerns over delays by millers in offloading wagons delivered to their premises with wheat.

Millers are failing to offload wagons quickly resulting in them spending days stabled in sidings. This results in delays in returning wagons to Beira to collect more wheat.

At present, millers are holding on to about 200 wagons at their private sidings in Harare which they have not offloaded.

Holding on to the wagons is creating bottlenecks in the transportation of wheat from Beira.

Handling facilities at Beira are able to load 25 wagons a day but on 8 November 2018, only 13 wagons were loaded at the port due to a shortage of wagons.

NRZ is appealing to millers to timeously offload the wagons within the shortest possible time so that they are returned to Mozambique to collect more wheat.

If millers off load wagons timeously, the NRZ would be able to clear the balance of 25 410 tonnes of wheat at Beira awaiting transportation into the country.

The NRZ, once again, reiterates its commitment to providing seamless, efficient, reliable, cost-effective and safe transportation service of goods and passengers in the country.





8 November 2018.




The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) attracted a strong field of close to 100 professional athletes and several enthusiastic runners in its inaugural NRZ Rail-Trail Charity Half Marathon 2018.

The marathon was held on Saturday 3 November 2018 starting and ending at the Raylton Recreational Club in Bulawayo from 0600hours to 1030 hours.

The race was in four formats: 21km, 10km, 5km and 1km fun walk with both men and women taking part.

Among the race’s categories included the wheelchair athletes and juniors.

NRZ Rail-Trail Annual Half Marathon was held for charity organisations, community development as well as celebrating the arrival of the first train in the country’s shores on 4 November 1897.

The winner of the 21km race walked away with $2000 while first runner-up went away with $1000 and second runner- up $500 in both the men’s and women’s categories.

In the 21km wheel chair race, the winner walked away with $200 while first runner-up got $150 and second runner-up $100 for both men and women.

The champion in the 10km juniors’ race received $150, second runner-up $100, third, $75, fourth $50 and fifth $25.

In the 5km category the winners received six first class tickets each to Victoria Falls while the first runner-up got four first class tickets and second runner-up two first class tickets.

The NRZ is satisfied with its inaugural event and hope to build on that going into the future runs.

The NRZ is happy to note that school children took an active interest in the marathon, with some as young as nine years taking part.

One school, Revuly Secondary School, came all the way from Masvingo to take part.

The inaugural run tapped athletes from as far as Harare, Bindura, Ruwa, Masvingo, Mutare and the Matabeleland region.

Proceeds from the Marathon will be channelled towards assisting charity organisations and community development.

NRZ would like to pay homage to all those who participated and made the marathon a success among them, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), Bulawayo Athletics Board (BAB), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and a host of athletics clubs from across the breadth and length of the country.


21km (Senior Men)

Zimuto Tendayi Black Rhinos 1 1.05.16
Hove Tatenda Black Rhinos 2
Verevi Wellington Black Rhinos 3


21km Senior Women

Mhonderwa Rudo Power House 1
Mahohoma Margereth Independent 2 1.32.12
Lynnette Tom ZRP Fairbridge 3 1.34.20


21km Wheelchair Men

Muyoriwa Samson Richwood 1
Doro Charles Wolves 2
Ncube Meli BCD 3 2.1839



21km Wheelchair women

Majoni Moleen Richwood 1 1.47.32
Muza Moline Zvishavane 2 1.49.11
Tomu Ratidzo Zvishavane 3 2.39.20



10km senior men                                           

Manzunzu          Nyasha Blanket mine 1 32.11.12
Daka                     Liberty Super Stars 2 42.14.51
Ushe                      Joseph Independent 3 44.20.50





10km Junior Women

Nyathi Faith City Meats 1 42.13.08
Poterai Beular Revuly 2 44.19.66
Moyo Qeqetshile Independent 3 49.36.69


10km Junior Men

Katakura Godwinlight Tatlow 1 31.54.91
Mafuane Believe Revuly 2 32.09.26
Chitara Author Black Rhinos 3 32.11.12


5km Women

Ndlovu Esnath Individual 1 22.38.23
Mhlophe Delsha City Meats 2 27.42.52
Dube Neo City Meats 3 29.05.59


5km Men

Chenjekai Simbarashe Independent 1 22.23.52
Takwanda Clyde Independent 2 24.04.86
Nyanda Lincoln NRZ 3 25.30.00






6 November 2018.



The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) will on Saturday 3 November, 2018, hold the inaugural Rail Trail Annual Charity Half Marathon in Bulawayo. The marathon is set to become an annual feature on the Bulawayo athletics calendar and will coincide with the arrival of the first train in Bulawayo on 4 November 1897. The marathon will have four categories- the flagship 21km race, 10km, five kilometres and a one kilometre fun walk.
More than $8 500 has been set aside for prize money with the winner of the 21km race getting $2 000, the first runner up $1 000 and the second runner up $500. In the 21km wheelchair race, the winner will get $200, the runner up $150 and the second runner up $100. In the 10km race, prize money will be awarded to juniors only with the winner walking away with $150, the first runner up $100 and second runner up $75.
The prizes are applicable to both the men and women’s categories. The first NRZ employee to cross the finish line in the men and women’s categories of the 21km race will get $150. Proceeds of the marathon will be used to cater for charity organizations and community development. The marathon will be held under the theme For Charity, Community Development and a Healthy Zimbabwe.
NRZ is urging professional runners, amateurs, school children, keep fit enthusiasts and families to take part in this worthy cause. All races will start and end at the Raylton Recreation Club in Raylton, Bulawayo. Registration is $15 for seniors and $5 for juniors. Payment can be made in cash, Point of Sale (swipe) or Ecocash on Biller Code 128738.
Registration starts on Thursday 1 November 2018 to Friday 2 November 2018 from 0800hrs to 1800hrs.

Nyasha Maravanyika
Public Relations Manager.



The National Railways of Zimbabwe’s (NRZ) Inter-Rail-Tech brand scooped a bronze medal at the just
ended Mine-Entra exhibition in Bulawayo. The NRZ, exhibiting under its Inter-Rail-Tech brand, was adjudged to be the third best exhibit in the Service Providers category of the Mine- Entra 2018 awards.

Inter-Rail-Tech was exhibiting at Mine-Entra for the second time having made its debut in 2017 and winning a bronze medal is a significant achievement for this new exciting NRZ brand. Inter-Rail-Tech consists of NRZ’s Mechanical, Signals, Electrical and Bridgeyard sections whose operations have been opened up to take outside jobs to provide a one stop solution to the mining and engineering industries.

Services offered by Inter-Rail-Tech include designing, fabrication, manufacturing, reconditioning, repairs,
rewinding, servicing and consultancy as well as boiler and wire rope maintenance inspections. Inter-Rail-Tech has technical staff comprising engineers, technicians and artisans. It was formed after the NRZ has realized there is a huge market for Inter-Rail-Tech services.

Inter-Rail-Tech boasts of its wide range of industrial machinery and equipment CNC-Computerized lathe machine; balancing machine for balancing rotors, turbines and armatures; pressing machines which can press up to 150 Tons; a foundry; jack hammers for civil works; vacuum pressure impregnation plant; mobile cranes and bulldozer.



The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has moved closer to the Port of Beira in Mozambique to improve movement of wheat imports into the country. The NRZ has previously been taking delivery of wheat wagons from its interchange point at Machipanda on the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border.

However, due to challenges on the Mozambique side with the movement of rail traffic into Zimbabwe, the NRZ has made a decision to go beyond its interchange point of Machipanda to Nyamatanda, closer to the Port of Beira, to collect wheat traffic destined for the country. NRZ is now collecting wheat from Nyamatanda, 40 kilometres from Beira. So far NRZ has sent a couple of tandems (trains) to Nyamatanda between Sunday and Tuesday to collect 45 wagons of wheat.

The move by the NRZ to collect wheat closer to the port is meant to assist in the fast transportation of wheat into the country. Normally, NRZ gets its rail traffic from Beira at Mutare where it is delivered by the Mozambican rail authorities. But of late, NRZ has been taking delivery of cargo at Machipanda border post before the latest decision to extend deeper into Mozambican territory.

NRZ is an important player in the transportation of various imported goods, among them wheat. However, because of wheat shortages facing the country, NRZ has seen it fit to play its part to ameliorate the shortages by going beyond its usual territory of operations. As an economic enabler, the NRZ is fully committed to playing its role by ensuring extensive improvement in the transportation and delivery of all goods, including wheat, destined for the country.

N. Maravanyika
Public Relations Manager


The National railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) having participated at the Mining, Engineering and Transport Exhibition (Mine Entra) for the past 23 consecutive years has unearthed the potential, opportunities and growth aspects throughout the mining, engineering and transport value and its related sectors. In line with this, it has opened up its massive mechanical workshop facilities in Bulawayo for outside commercial jobs.

As a result of the initiative, NRZ Engineering workshops comprising of qualified engineering staff from four NRZ divisions namely Mechanical, Signals, Electrical and Bridgeyard, have been rebranded to Inter-Rail-Tech with the motto “Engineering drive for success”. The workshops are among the largest integrated engineering workshops in Southern Africa and are geared to provide a one stop solution to the mining and engineering industries.

Inter-Rail-Tech is generally into mechanical electrical and structural engineering, offering designing, fabrication, manufacturing, reconditioning, repairs, rewinding, servicing and consultancy as well as boiler and wire rope maintenance inspections. With qualified technical staff comprising of engineers, technicians and artisans; the NRZ has realized there is a huge market for Inter-Rail-Tech services. Inter-Rail-Tech is targeting mining, production, manufacturing and agricultural sectors as well as individuals to serve them, as it believes no job is too small or too large to execute.

The birth of the Inter-Rail-Tech brand came courtesy of its excess capacity in the form of idle machinery and hence accommodating outside jobs signifies the organization’s drive to unlock value and increase capacity utilization of these workshops. The gap in the market, for services offered by Inter-Rail-Tech came as a result of a number of companies based in Bulawayo, Midlands and the country at large closing down due to operational and economic challenges. This has prompted the NRZ workshops which have been receiving enquiries from industry across the board for the utilization of their services, to play a key role in standing-in for the closed industries.

Inter-Rail-Tech boasts of its wide range of industrial machinery and equipment CNC-Computerized lathe machine; balancing machine for balancing rotors, turbines and armatures; pressing machines which can press up to 150 Tons; a foundry; jack hammers for civil works; vacuum pressure impregnation plant; mobile cranes and bulldozer. It offers a one stop shop where a complete quality product is deliverable and is market flexible through barter deals.

The Inter-Rail-Tech projects speak volumes about NRZ’s future oriented thinking, coupled with zeal to consolidate our position of “Unlocking Engineering Capacity – Catalyst for Economic Growth”, allows us to set new trends within the engineering field. While traditionally formed to transport goods and passengers, our product offering has evolved over the years to reflect the new demands of our industry and country. NRZ’s Inter-Rail-Tech furthermore seeks to adopt total quality management and is working towards ISO Certification.



10 OCTOBER 2018

NRZ 121 years on…

NRZ 121 years on…
By John Batwell
At the time, imperialist Cecil John Rhodes commented “the railway is my hand” since railways ranked high in his vision for opening up and developing the interior of the African continent. The arrival of the railway in Bulawayo led to the newspaper the Chronicle getting carried away – “Today is the parting of the ways for Matabeleland, the relegation of the old method of transport to the past and the beginning of civilisation in its entirety….”.

It had been four years since Dr Jameson’s Column had hoisted the flag on that wild syringa tree in the contemporary suburb of Sauerstown, marking the occupation of Lobengula’s capital and marking the birth of the Bulawayo of today. It was declared a town on 4 November 1893 and the trains began running in 1897. Editorial comment in October 1897 in the Bulawayo Chronicle said, “Bulawayo has been waiting for the railway like the Australian farmer waits for rain which shall bring him prosperity.”

Ox wagon transport from the South had virtually stopped owing to the rinderpest; freight charges to Mafeking were up two hundred pounds a ton; and the time it took consignments to reach Bulawayo roused the local merchants to great heights of fury. The early development of the territory took place at the pace of the ox. A fully-laden wagon
carrying over three-and-a-half tonnes ground and bumped its way over the rough transport road at little more than three kilometres an hour for some eight hours a day so at such a ponderous pace the almost 800km took a very long time.
Passenger travel beyond Mafeking was by coach conveying 12 passengers and mail but as Bulawayo quickly grew into an important distribution centre as gold mining camps and other settlements sprang up in the area, the extension of the railway from Mafeking was becoming imperative. The northward thrust from Mafeking, where the railway from Vryburg had reached in October 1894, got off to a slow start. At that time, Bulawayo was receiving more than two thousand heavy wagons a year from the south.

A passenger on the mail coach reported counting over a hundred wagons on the road between Palapye in Bechuanaland and Bulawayo alone. Such was the urgency for the rail connection to Bulawayo that the final 18 months of construction, despite problems including water shortages, was laid at the remarkable rate of a mile day, 640km in 400 days! As a result, the railway was in part laid directly on the ground with little or no ballast. Such
was the haste that the surveyors were often only a day or two ahead of the construction gangs and the route took the line of least resistance.

The development of the railways in Zimbabwe was directed essentially by the need to serve the towns, mines and farms which were fast being established and ultimately to link the landlocked country with sea ports. The link between Salisbury (Harare) and Bulawayo was completed in October 1902 and Salisbury was also, by now, connected to the Indian Ocean at Beira by rail. The line had arrived in Salisbury from Beira in May 1899. Rhodes had said, “We are bound, and I have made up my mind, to go on without delay. Let us see it [the railway] on the Zambezi in our lifetime.” It happened but not for Rhodes to observe personally as he died in 1902. The construction north-west from Bulawayo began in 1903, crossing the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls in September 1905 and reaching the Congo border by the end of the decade in December 1909.

As mentioned mining and agriculture in essence dictated the development of rail routes. Three decades of rail growth from 1900 had seen railway lines grow like tentacles penetrating much of Mashonaland such as Chinhoyi, Shamva and Kildonan whilst in the Midlands Eiffel Flats, Masvingo, Shurugwi and Zvishavane came to receive the railway; and branch lines in southern Matabeleland served Matopos (whom Rhodes believed everyone should be able to enjoy leisurely at week-ends) and West Nicholson. (Ninety-four years later West Nicholson was linked to Beit Bridge). Where the tracks did not go, the Road Motor Service (RMS) was set up, this having been introduced in 1927.

Up to 1927, the whole system was operated by Mashonaland Railway Company under the title ‘Beira and Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railways’ but as from the beginning of October 1927 the Rhodesia Railways Co. Ltd. became the working company. From 1 October 1936 the Rhodesia Railways Ltd. became the owners of the entire railway system in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Zambia and the Vryburg (Union of South Africa) – Bulawayo section. The Vryburg – Ramathlabama portion was purchased by South African Railways in late 1959. On 1 April 1947 the then Rhodesian Government acquired the assets of Rhodesia Railways Ltd. and on 1 November 1949 the railway undertaking became a statutory body known as Rhodesia Railways.

The railway line through to Beira in Mozambique was relinquished to that Portuguese colony in that year. On 1 July 1967 the system was divided at Victoria Falls bridge with Zambia Railways in the north and Rhodesia Railways in the south. Rhodesia Railways was redesignated Zimbabwe Rhodesia Railways on 1 June 1979 and finally National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) on 1 May 1980.
In 1987 the NRZ handed over the railway running through independent Botswana (former Bechuanaland) to that country which then took over ownership, management and operation from Plumtree southward.
To be continued


The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is concerned by increasing cases of vandalism and destruction of its points machines which is disrupting train movement and can result in derailments.

Points machines are used to direct trains from one track to another at stations, sidings and transit yards.

If the machines are tampered with, there is a danger of the points failing to open or close properly resulting in wheels going off the tracks, leading to derailments.

More than 20 points machines have been vandalised since the beginning of the year.

Repairing and replacing the machines is very costly to the organisation which is being forced to divert resources for other projects to repair damage caused by a few individuals out to enrich themselves at the expense of the national interest.

The acts of vandalism are taking place in both urban and remote areas.

If a points machine is damage beyond repair, it costs up to $25 000 to replace. Most of the points machines are being damaged beyond repair as the vandals try to get the fittings inside.

The NRZ would like to appeal to members to report to the authorities when they see suspicious activity on rail infrastructure or people tampering with railway equipment.

If they are not sure that people working on rail infrastructure are not railway employees, they should report to their nearest police station.

The NRZ also appeals to scrap metal dealers to verify the source of material brought by their clients as some from the points machine are being sold to scrap metal dealers.

Members of the public are advised that tampering with power operated points has negative consequences as they can result in loss of human life due to derailments while movement of people and cargo will be delayed awaiting repair of the machines.

The NRZ has a whistle blower programme which rewards people reporting cases of vandalism to its infrastructure or who help protect railway assets.

In June, NRZ paid school fees for a Form One pupil at Entumbane Secondary School Nozipho Sibanda through the whistle blower programme after she alerted authorities of a broken railway track near Sawmills thus averting a potential derailment.





21 September 2018


The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) would like to set the record straight on the operational status of the Interim Solution Equipment it is leasing from Transnet under the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) /Transnet Consortium Recapitalisation project.

All the equipment NRZ received is compatible to the rail system and conditions in the country.

When the DIDG/Transnet Consortium offered to avail locomotives and wagons to NRZ as an interim solution to its perennial problem of resource shortages, the NRZ requested for 10 mainline locomotives, 3 shunt locomotives, 200 wagons and 34 passenger coaches.

At the time the equipment was received at a function officiated by His Excellency, the President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, Transnet had sent 3 class 34 locomotives, 4 class 43 locomotives, 151 wagons and 7 passenger coaches/vans.

The NRZ has now received six class 34 locomotives, four class 43 locomotives and 200 wagons. Three class 34 locomotives are still to be delivered.

The class 34 locomotives, initially earmarked for shunt operations, are the same size as NRZ’s mainline locomotives and are not suitable for use as shunt locomotives. They have been deployed for Mainline operations.

The class 34 locomotives, wagons and coaches were deployed for NRZ operations on March 29, 2018 after reaching agreement on the commercial terms with Transnet and clearing the equipment with ZIMRA

The four larger class 43 locomotives’ deployment has been delayed to cater for NRZ employees’ training to familiarise them with the computerised locomotives, among other reasons.

Transnet is also working on arranging special insurance cover for the locomotives and this is still to be finalised. It is expected that the issue of insurance will be concluded by 8 June 2018.

While the class 43 locomotives are stabled (not in use), NRZ is not paying hire charges. Hire charges will only start accruing after Transnet has released the locomotives to NRZ.

Once the insurance cover has been finalised, the class 43 locomotives, which are heavier than the NRZ locomotives, will be deployed on the Dabuka-Harare section which has 54kg/m rail as opposed to the other mainline corridors which have 45kg/m rail.

The Dabuka-Harare section has a higher traffic density due to cargo from Beitbridge, Maputo, Bulawayo and Thomson Junction all converging at Dabuka. This is the reason why the section was electrified first and has 54kg/m rail.

However, the class 43 locomotives can still be deployed on corridors with 45 kg/m rail but on reduced speeds.

Locomotives of the same weight as the class 43’s are being run on 45 kg/m rail elsewhere in the region without a problem.

This is not the first time NRZ has hired equipment from foreign rail operators. The organization was already leasing some 50 wagons from Transnet at the time the interim solution equipment arrived and some locomotives from Grindrod in 2017.