TRAIN. The FCE train line (FIANARANTSOA-Côte Est) has reopened


Friday, May 26, 2023. The FCE or Fianarantsoa Côte Est railway line connecting Fianarantsoa to Manakara has reopened. President Andry Rajoelina and his wife, together with the Minister of Transport and Meteorology, Valery Ramonjavelo came to officially open it in Fianarantsoa. Because the reconstruction and repair works have been completed.

For many years the FCE line has been stalled. The government led by President Andry Rajoelina tried to find a solution. In the year 2021, there was a mountain (“locomotives”) number of four presented by the President; was also there “wagons” It also carries four passengers. At that time, he promised to restore this railway line again.

In February 2023, as soon as Minister Valery Ramonjavelo and his team came to manage the Ministry of Transport and Meteorology, one of their first visits was to FCE Fianarantsoa. We were looking for an urgent solution to revive and restore it in a short time. After all, that is the agreement “CONTRACT” discussed by the Minister with the President, is to revive the railway lines in Madagascar, especially the FCE.

This included the payment of workers’ salaries and the government taking over the unpaid pensions of workers. The FCE Recovery Committee was established “Recovery Committee”. There was also the Joint Municipality or “College leadership” which was critical to the recovery of the company. Three months later, the effort paid off and the FCE train line is back on track.

Minister Ramonjavelo announced in his speech all the works done in the past three months. In April, there was already a route connecting Fianarantsoa and Sahambavy, which was called “Train Pascal”. He was carrying thousands of passengers. At the beginning of the return journey of the FCE route, the train will depart from Fianarantsoa and reach Manampatran. It will reach Manakara in June 2023. They have already arrived in Manakara “car” (sort of “plateau” steel wheels along the tracks, driven by hand or foot) to open the road and maintain the tracks (“rails”).

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The President Andry Rajoelina again said that it is important to restore this FCE railway line because it is the artery that connects Fianarantsoa and the Fitovinany Region, passing through many municipalities in between. “It’s the railway” he said, “is the way to release the product; the railway is one of the things that bring life and change the economic sector in all the places it passes through”.

The President recalled that since its opening in 1936, hardly any maintenance has been done on this railway transport. During this administration, it was looked at closely again, so apart from the construction of the railway, there was the purchase of the mountains and many others, so the construction of these was also part of the work done. “stations” (railway station) all they pass through. And President Rajoelina gave special instructions to repair the station in Fianarantsoa. There will also be new mountain views so that transportation will not be interrupted.

There will be a route connecting Fianarantsoa and Manampatrana three times a week. The same is true when Manakara will open, starting next June. The fares will not differ from the previous fares, even if there are some updates. Thus, it will be much cheaper than transporting goods by truck (“truck”) the transportation of goods by train, and the transportation of people by train will not be far from that of the taxi, which will reach the isolated hands that the car has not reached before.

The goal is for this FCE railway line to be completely independent from a financial point of view, that is, to be able to support itself later on.

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