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Train of the FCE at Manampatrana
Train of the FCE at Manampatrana.
The locomotive is an Alsthom AD16B 1600hp Bo-Bo diesel electric delivered in 1982 for Chemin-de-fer de Madagascar.
These locomotives ave been replaced since this picture was taken in 2004.

The first railway in Madagascar opened in 1909 between the island's capital, Antananarivo, and Brickaville, a distance of over 200km. It was built to metre gauge, as were all subsequent lines on the island.

By 1923 there was a network of 3 lines in the northern part of the island, totalling 673km of route. During the 1920s and 1930s, a separate 163km line was built in the south of the island. All lines came under government control in the 1940s.

In the early years of the 21st century the system was part privatized. The northern group of line under Madarail operates regular passenger, freight and tourist services. The FCE line operates freight and occasional tourist passenger services. In 2018 a memorandum of understanding was signed for a new line between Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa, connecting the two networks.

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Photo image by World Resources Institute Staff from Wikimedia Commons