The Luanda (Viana) / Ndalatando/ Malanje train route has reopened after an interval of over 18 years. The trains are brand-new Chinese built locos. The carriages are equipped with an entertainment system, restaurant and on-board police.
There are two services – Comboio Expresso or Comboio Inter-Estações.
The Expresso service leaves Viana station at 0500 every Tuesday and Thursday and arrives in Malanje 423Kms away some 9 or 10 hours later. The only stop is at Ndalatando for 30 minutes. The service returns from Malanje to Viana every Wednesday and Saturday leaving at 07:30. Tickets cost 2000 Kwanzas and include 40kgs of hand baggage, breakfast and a copy of the Jornal de Angola. The Expresso can carry 329 passengers.
The Comboio Inter-Estações runs a once a week service stopping at all stations for 10 minutes. Viana to Malanje is on Saturdays, leaving at 0500 and the return journey is on Sundays leaving at 07:30 Journey time to Malanje will be at least 12 hours and costs 1500 Kwanzas. The price includes 40 kgs of hand baggage and breakfast. This train has a capacity of 466 passengers.
All passengers for both services are required to arrive two hours before the departure time. Tickets are put on sale two days in advance and are available from Viana, Musseques, N’Dalatando and Malanje railway stations. ID must be shown in order to purchase tickets. Tickets must be bought in advance as they cannot be bought on the train. Tickets are valid for specified trains and are not refundable in the event of the passenger not travelling. Passengers found on the train without tickets will be asked to pay a fine and are liable to be put off at the next stop and handed into the police.
Hand baggage above 40kgs is charged at 20 Kwanzas per kilo. Accompanied baggage must be delivered one day before travelling and the price is 10 Kwanzas per kilo up to 500 kg.
The information above has been gleaned from various press reports so travellers are advised to check all the details before making arrangements to travel by train.