PRELIMINARY studies of the first railway line between Egypt and Sudan have been completed, Mr Kamel El-Wazir, the Egyptian minister of transport, confirmed on February 22 during a meeting with Mr Hisham Abu-Zaid, Sudan’s acting transport minister.

The 363.5km line, which would connect the two countries’ rail networks, would be built in two stages. The first is a planned 283.5km line from Aswan to Toshka and Abu Simbel, in southern Egypt, with the second stage extending the line a further 80km to Halfa in northern Sudan.

The two countries agreed to construct the line in April 2021, following similar proposals made in 2010 and 2018. Freight and passenger trains would use the line, with Egypt keen to use it to export goods to Sudan, central Africa and the rest of the continent.

The governments of both countries signed a joint cooperation agreement in November 2020 to carry out economic, social and environmental feasibility studies for the creation of a new cross-border railway. That agreement specified that construction would be in accordance with Egyptian rail specifications.

A detailed look at the development of rail in Africa was published in the July 2021 edition of IRJ. Digital subscribers can read it here.

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