Malawi - 2.4 Malawi Railway Assessment
malawi railway map


Railway Network

The network extends from Zambian border at Mchinji, via Lilongwe to Blantyre and Makhanga in the south. At Nkaya Junction the network links with the Nacala Corridor line going east to Mozambique's deep-water port at Nacala and another green field line was constructed connected Nkaya to Moatize Mine in the Mozambique Providence of Tete. Export traffic consists of sugar, tobacco, cotton, tea and pigeon peas through the Port of Nacala. Import traffic consists of fertiliser, fuel, clinker, wheat grain, containerised general cargo, consumer goods and food products including vegetable oil and grain. Currently one block train of approximately. 90 wagons depart Nacala everyday pulled by two locomotives in tandem directly from Nacala Port to Blantyre or Lilongwe. At Nkaya (which is an operational hub) the block train is then split per destination, south to Blantyre and north to Lilongwe

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List

Travel Time Matrix

Travel Time from Capital City to Major Towns (hr)





Nacala Port

48 hrs


Nacala Port


36 hrs


Nacala Port


72 hrs

Railway Companies and Consortia

The Malawi Railways was managed by the Malawi Government until privatization on 1 December 1999. The Central East African Railways (CEAR) is part of Nacala Logistics brand that represents the companies responsible for the logistics of coal and general cargo in the Nacala Railway Corridor. The brand is also responsible for the management of Nacala-à-Velha Port Terminal. Nacala Logistics Companies include CDN, CLN / CLA, CEAR and VLL under one management and whose shareholders are Vulcan Resources which is subsidiary company of Jindal Steel from India. 

For more information on railway company contact details, please see the following link: 4.9 Railway Companies Contact List

Capacity Table

Rail Operator Capacity



Lines Operates On


Max Train Length and / or Pulling Capacity


90 wagons per train (3600 MT)


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