New railway project planned linking Egypt, Sudan

By Viola Fahmy

CAIRO (AA) – Egypt and Sudan on Tuesday agreed to establish the first railway line linking the two countries.

According to Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency (MENA), a delegation from Egypt’s railway authority recently visited Khartoum to discuss the project with Sudanese Transport Ministry officials.

The planned railway will begin in Egypt’s southern city of Aswan and end in Sudan’s northern town of Abu Hamad.

According to Mohamed Fuad Salit, head of the Egyptian delegation, the project will greatly facilitate the movement of passengers and goods between the two countries.

The 630-kilometer railway line is reportedly slated for completion within the next three years.

MENA did not provide the scheme’s projected cost.

Abdul Rahman Sharif, head of the Sudanese technical team, said the project was initially proposed by an Egypt-Sudan cooperation committee chaired jointly by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir.

In 2010, a similar project was proposed at a meeting of Arab transport ministers in Cairo as part of a wider railway scheme linking Egypt to several African countries, including Chad and Ethiopia.

The project fell through for a number of reasons, however, mainly funding shortfalls.