An NRZ train. Image credit

An NRZ train. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Transport: Trains and rail transport


  • Is relatively cheap
  • Caries bulk goods such as coal and unprocessed ores
  • Carries large amounts of goods and
  • Carries large amounts of passengers
  • They are comfortable
  • Can be very fast
  • They are less prone to accidents


  • Does not provide door to door service.
  • Cannot scale steep gradients e.g. Eastern Highlands
  • Require railway lines which are expensive to construct.
  • Restrictive e.g. trains in the SADC region may be unable to service other countries as they use different railway gauges.
  • Require special handling equipment to load and unload.
  • Is not versatile as special trailers are required for some loads.
  • Is relatively slower than other forms of transport e.g. air.
  • Not suitable for perishable goods.
  • In Zimbabwe we have only one track which means trains cannot pass each other.

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