The Malawi Institution of Engineers (MIE) says government must do more to increase the railway network in the country apart from rehabilitating the existing infrastructure.
In an interview this week, MIE president Matthews Mtumbuka said much as it was commendable for government to rehabilitate Malawi's aged rail network, more had to be done to amplify the railway spread across the country.
"Basically, MIE is happy with the railways maintenance works but we would want to specifically recommend that the Limbe-Blantyre rail route also be upgraded in order to use the service as a way of reducing traffic congestion within Blantyre City," said Mtumbuka.
He said rail transport has the potential to completely transform the transport sector in Malawi by reducing congestion in cities and minimising the cost of transporting people and goods across the country.
"MIE therefore again urges government to consider setting aside adequate financial resources in the national budget for the widening of and continued rehabilitation of the national rail network," said Mtumbuka.
Government said two weeks ago that at 110 years old, Malawi's rail network is almost obsolete and that US$1 billion would be used to reconstruct the railways in partnership with Vale Mining and the Japanese government.
Minister of Transport Sidik Mia said the newly initiated railway rehabilitation projects would spur local economic activities as it would encourage export since transport costs would drop by 60 percent.
The multi-million dollar project would see Vale Mining constructing a railway through Chapananga to Nacala which when finished would ably get 120 wagons of cargo to and from Nacala in 24 hours.