Maputo owes its economic and political rise at the end of the 19th century to the increasing prominence of the Transvaal state which built and financed the rail connection from Pretoria and Johannesburg (and the coal mines in Transvaal) to the sea port at Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) which opened in 1895.
The Maputo Railway Station was designed by the Portuguese architects Alfredo Augusto Lisboa de Lima (1867-1935), Mário Veiga and Ferreira da Costa and was built between 1908 and 1910. Many consider it to be one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. It is operated by the Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM; Mozambique Ports and Railways) which is the parastatal authority that oversees the railway system of Mozambique and its connected ports. While the station is still in use, trains run infrequently and the station is often deserted.