The signing was carried out following a virtual meeting between Egypt’s minister of transport, Mr Kamel Al-Wazir, and Mr Hashim Ibn Auf, the Sudanese minister for infrastructure and transport, on November 8. 

The proposed line’s initial section will run from Aswan, Upper Egypt, to Wadi Halfa in Sudan’s Northern State, with later phases integrating the line with the existing networks in both countries to create a 900km direct connection for passenger and freight services between Sidi Gaber, Alexandria, and Khartoum. 

The agreement also specifies construction of the line in accordance with Egyptian rail specifications, with the Khartoum - Wadi Halfa line expected to be upgraded to 1435mm from 1067mm-gauge. 

The project will be funded by the Egyptian and Sudanese governments and a loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED). 

Al-Wazir also announced plans on November 9 to extend the existing Marsa Matrouh - Salloum line west to the Libyan city of Benghazi, and south to Siwa Oasis. The projects are expected to be carried out through a private-public partnership (PPP). 

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