This short documentary ran for a month in 2019 at the Railway Museum, Schaarbeek-Brussels, Belgium
The Benguela railway was built a century ago with British and Belgian capital to export minerals from the copper belt of Katanga, Congo, to the Atlantic seaport of Lobito, Angola.
The railway is about 2000 km long.
When I first used it in 1991, the civil war was still raging in Angola. Rail transport had become impossible.
After the war, the railway was rebuilt with loans from China. Today, a Chinese train runs several times a week from Lobito to the border with Congo. But in Congo the railway is still in very poor condition. Repairs have been blocked for years by the private interests of the truck owners' lobby.
Yet I was lucky enough to travel from the border to Kolwezi, the mining capital. Lucky, yes, because it allowed me to see the railway workers at work. The way they run the trains, against all odds, is truly heroic.
Subtitles in French and Dutch