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From Rail Journal:

http://www.railjournal.com/index.ph...-african-standard-gauge-line.html?channel=542

Deal signed for East African standard-gauge line
Monday, May 12, 2014


Chinese premier Li Keqiang (left) and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta sign the deal in Nairobi

THE Chinese premier Li Keqiang and the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta signed an agreement on May 11 for the construction of a 609km standard-gauge railway linking the port city of Mombasa to the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

The agreement was witnessed by East African presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Salva Kiir of South Sudan as the line will be extended from Nairobi to the Uganda capital Kampala, and later to Rwanda's capital Kigali and Juba in South Sudan.

The initial Mombasa - Nairobi section will be constructed by China Roads and Bridge Construction at a cost of $US 3.6bn, which is considerably less than the $US 5.2bn estimated earlier by a Kenyan parliamentary committee.

The Chinese contractor was appointed without competitive bidding after Kenya agreed to this as a condition for Chinese funding. China will finance 90% of the project while Kenya will provide the remaining 10%. China will provide a $US 1.6bn commercial loan and $US 1.63bn as a concessionary facility.

Work on the project will start in October and is due to be completed in March 2018.

Li's visit to Kenya was the final leg of a four-country African tour which included Ethiopia, Angola and Nigeria. During his Nigerian visit, Li also signed a framework agreement involving China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation for the construction of a $US 13.1bn railway in southern Nigeria linking Lagos with Port Harcourt. The 600km line would have a maximum speed of 120km/h and 12 stations
 

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This thread is about rail links between African countries
There aren't much.

There are rail links between Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia which are now closed (at least the Moroccan-Algerian one); and Libya planned rail links (now abandoned) to Tunisia and Egypt.

Then there is South African newtwork with links with adjacent countries.

That's all. Most other states have isolated lines (or small groups of lines) linking a mine/city in the interior with a port, or doesn't have railways at all.
 

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Well, considering the economic growth potential of East African countries in particular(Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania are all doing fairly well), it doesn't hurt to start a thread for what may come in the future.
 

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Africa gets it's railway and China gets construction contracts plus better distribution of it's goods, which will be exported to Africa.
 

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There is also the Egypt-Sudan connection using the ferry between Aswan
and Wadi-Halfa. And the Tazara line between Tanzania and Zambia. Zambia
railways also once entered Congo, don't know whether this still exists today.

Regarding this new line, I'm very disappointed that it won't be constructed
using the gauge already used in the area. Using UIC gauge means this line
will forever remain isolated.
 

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Well, it would create a new gauge type in the area. A break-of-gauge in Juba (South Sudan) should be feasible but I agree that integration with the system in Tanzania will be difficult. Tanzania is growing rapidly but there has been no signals of changing gauge, instead it look like the current lines will be upgrades in the next few years.

Personally I'm not sure these types of "grand projects" are the ones giving the best return. I would rather see an upgrade of the current line.
 

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I'm very disappointed that it won't be constructed using the gauge already used in the area. Using UIC gauge means this line will forever remain isolated.
Almost all existing lines need investments anyway. While upgrading, a third rail could be added (resulting in a dual-gauge tracks). Of course it would involve big costs and Africa is too poor for that, at least for now.
 
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There aren't much.

There are rail links between Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia which are now closed (at least the Moroccan-Algerian one); and Libya planned rail links (now abandoned) to Tunisia and Egypt.

Then there is South African newtwork with links with adjacent countries.

That's all. Most other states have isolated lines (or small groups of lines) linking a mine/city in the interior with a port, or doesn't have railways at all.
That's not all.
Dakar-Bamako and Abidjan-Bobo-Ouagadougou lines are not totaly dead. And Conakry could be connected with Bobo in the future thanks to the chinese funds.
The old Adis Ababa-Djibouti railway build by the French is also being upgraded by the Chinese.
 

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A project that's been under the radar for a while now is the Cotonou-Parakou-Dosso-Niamey rail project. It's standard gauge, under construction and will link Benin with Niger. As I understand it the plan for the near future is to connect Niamey with Burkina Faso also.

There's already traffic on the metre gauge Cotonou-Parakou section, not sure on how the construction will affect it.

Jeune Afrique article: http://www.jeuneafrique.com/actu/20140415T132002Z20140415T131946Z/

Press release from Niger government: http://www.presidence.ne/index.php/...de-chemin-de-fer-niamey-dosso-parakou-cotonou

Further reading: http://www.burkinapmepmi.com/spip.php?article20867




Cotonou railway station, date unknown
 

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From Rail Journal:

http://www.railjournal.com/index.ph...had-to-study-700km-rail-link.html?channel=542

Cameroon and Chad to study 700km rail link
Monday, June 09, 2014



CAMEROON and its landlocked neighbour Chad reached an agreement on June 3 to carry out a feasibility study into the construction of a 700km line linking Ngaoundéré in northeast Cameroon with Ndjamena, the Chadian capital.

Financing has yet to be agreed for the project, which will require investment estimated at Central African Francs 1.4bn ($US 2.92bn).

The concession holder for the railway will be Cameroonian railway operator Camrail, owned by Bolloré Africa Logistics, a subsidiary of France's Bolloré Group.

With some 80% of Chad's imports and exports currently transported by road via Cameroon's main port and commercial capital of Douala, Chad is looking to expand trade through rail and other infrastructure projects linking the landlocked country to the Atlantic coast.

Cameroon's transport minister Mr Robert Nkili says the project would also benefit northern regions of Cameroon, where traders were struggling to export their products to other regions. His Chadian counterpart, Mr Adoum Younousmi, added: "If the work programme is respected, construction should begin in 2016."

In 2012 Cameroon announced plans to build railway lines to expand trade with Chad as well as southern neighbours such as Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, but construction has not yet begun.
 

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From Rail Journal:

http://www.railjournal.com/index.ph...ded-for-uganda-–-rwanda-line.html?channel=542

Design contract awarded for Uganda – Rwanda line
Tuesday, July 01, 2014



GERMAN infrastructure consultant Gauff Ingenieure has been awarded a $US 8.6m contract to design the new standard-gauge railway line linking Uganda's capital Kampala with Kigali in Rwanda.

Around 1400km of new railway will be constructed in Uganda and Rwanda. This includes the section from Malaba on the Kenya/Uganda border via Kampala to Mirima Hills on the Uganda/Rwanda border and then on to Kigali. There will also be branches to other towns in the two countries.

Six Chinese companies are to be invited in July for engineering, procurement and construction contracts for the Ugandan part of the project.

"This is another demonstration of the strong commitment and political will of our leaders for joint regional integration projects aimed at promoting regional trade and the free movement of people and goods," says Rwanda Transport Development Agency director general Mr Guy Kalisa.

The railway will connect with the new standard-gauge line in Kenya from Malaba via Nairobi to Mombasa, the first phase of which is under construction and is due to be completed in March 2018
 

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http://www.macauhub.com.mo/en/2014/02/24/angola-and-mozambique-to-be-linked-by-rail-soon/

Angola and Mozambique to be linked by rail soon

FEBRUARY 24TH, 2014 NEWS

Angola and Mozambique are due soon to be linked by rail following a recent announcement by Zambia of the start of a large rail project, Angolan newspaper Jornal de Angola reported.

The report, which made the newspaper’s front page, noted that Zambia would start building a railroad to link Chingola, in the former copper province, to the Angolan border where it will join up with the Benguela railroad.

“The railway will be built by a partnership between South African group Grindrod and Zambia’s Northwest Rail Company and involves two phases – the first between Chingola and the mines of Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila, covering 290 kilometres and a second stage that will link the Benguela railroad on the Zambian border with Angola near Jimbe,” Jornal de Angola reported.

The newspaper said that when the project was finished, southern Africa would have a railway line linking the Atlantic Ocean (Angola) to the Indian Ocean (Mozambique).

The aim is to open up a direct corridor as far as Lobito to allow land-locked Zambia to import products such as oil directly from Angola.

On the Angolan side the train has reached as far as Luau, on the border with the democratic Republic of Congo, since December 2013.
 

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Just as I said, Dakar-Bamako. But it desperately needs to be upgraded. Just like the other link build by the French in this area: Abidjan-Ouagadougou.
Do any freight trains still use the Dakar - Bamako railway line? Passenger services were suspended several years ago.
 

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Works on the Cotonou-Niamey railway, connecting landlocked Niger with Benin and later on Burkina Faso, are ongoing. Surpringly... there's is an dedicated webpage to the project (in French): http://www.niger2020.com.

There's even an recent video in English explaining the current status of the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF4Y0xLGb3A.

Interestingly, each railway station will also functioning as a cultural/educational centre.
 

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Linking countries: Mali signs $1.5b rail deal with China Railway Construction

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1016718...5b-rail-deal-with-china-railway-construction/

BAMAKO: Mali has signed an agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation to renovate a rail line – linking its capital Bamako to the border with neighbouring Senegal – at a cost of $1.486 billion, the West African nation’s transport minister Malick Kasse said on Saturday.

The project is part of a plan to upgrade the ageing 1,200-km (745-mile) railway between Senegal’s coastal capital Dakar and landlocked Mali.

China Railway Construction penned a similar agreement worth $1.26 billion with Senegal on Thursday.

“Work on the Malian section of the project will include upgrading 644km of rail lines and renovating 22 railway stations,” said Mali’s Minister in Charge of Equipment and Transports Mamadou Hachim Koumare, on the state-owned radio.

“This will allow us to have 100 km per hour passenger trains and freight trains of 80 km per hour. Today passenger trains are not even doing 20 km per hour,” he added.

“Once started, work on the project is expected to last four years,” said Kasse.

China Railway Construction Deputy CEO Wei Wanzheng said they would assist Mali in obtaining the financing.
 
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