Africa Update

NEW EMD LOCOS FOR GABON

New Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) type GT46AC locomotives are on order for the 1,435mm gauge Société d’Exploitation du Transgabonais (Setrag – the state railway of Gabon), which runs 670 km eastwards… Read More

CHINA TO REVAMP CONGO-OCEAN

On 21 December, minister of transport and civil aviation Rodolphe Adada in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) signed an agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCCI) director general… Read More

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE IRON ORE

Core Mining, a regional West African iron ore developer which owns the Avima project in the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sundance Resources… Read More

RUSTING TRAINS IN THE DRC

Candidates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) elections have had wide scope for making promises, especially in the field of transport. In Kinshasa, one-time terminus of a busy line to the port of… Read More

NARROW-GAUGE CONGO GARRATTS

Notes from Peter Bagshawe: “Construction of the CF Vicinaux du Mayumbe commenced in 1898, believed to be at 615mm gauge, although also quoted at 610mm. “It initially purchased 0-4-0T locos, and around… Read More

ETHIOPIA’S SEBETA-DJIBOUTI PROJECT 73% COMPLETE

The new 554km, double-track, standard gauge railway under construction from Sebeta in the north of Ethiopia to the port of Djibouti is 73% complete, according to the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC).… Read More

ADDIS-BEDELE PROJECT BEGINS

On 13 May, Ethiopian prime minister Haile Mariam Desalegn laid a foundation stone marking the start of construction on a new 491km railway to link Addis Ababa with Bedele in Oromoia state. Ultimately… Read More

ADDIS LIGHT RAIL HICCUPS

The new 39-station light rail network in Addis Ababa, budgeted at $US475 million, has run into several snags. One of these concerns the Awash International Bank, whose new 10-storey building in the… Read More

RIFT VALLEY PROGRESS

According to Rift Valley Railways (RVR) group CEO Darlan De David, freight transit time between Nairobi and Mombasa has been speeded up by six hours, following the completion of 73km of track rehabilitation… Read More

CHINA & PAN-AFRICA HIGH-SPEED RAIL

In Addis Ababa on 7 May, African Union Commission chair Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma congratulated the People's Republic of China - represented by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming - on the… Read More

ALSTOM TRAM BUILDING PLANT IN ALGERIA

Created in 2011 to assemble and maintain Alstom Citadis trams for Algerian cities, CITAL is a joint venture comprising Alstom, Enterprise du metro d’Alger (EMA) and Ferrovial.  About 200… Read More

ALGERIAN ELECTIFICATION

Approximately 4,000km of lines owned by Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviares (SNTF - the state railway of Algeria) have been electrified to date. It is intended to increase this… Read More

LIGHT RAIL IN TUNIS

Public transport in Tunisia is overseen by the ministry of transport. Railways are the responsibility of Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens (SNCFT), comprising both 1,435mm and 1,000mm gauge… Read More

MOROCCAN RAILWAYS FOOT PART OF FIFA’S BILL

Morocco initially budgeted 16 million Dirhams (about $US1.6m) to host the FIFA Club World Cup 2013-2014, but the final bill came in at 554 million Dirhams ($55.4m). The central government reportedly paid… Read More

RABAT LIGHT RAIL EXTENSION

The original 19km phase of the two-line Rabat-Salé Tramway was opened in May 2011. The operator is Transdev. Eventually, it is intended to add a further 20km of route, and on 25 February 2015, a proposed… Read More

GIBELA CONFIDENT IT WILL MEET TARGET

Gibela consortium managing director Marc Granger, and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Lucky Montana, both dismiss media speculation suggesting that the rolling stock programme is behind… Read More

GIBELA BENEFICIARIES

Responding to press reports commenting on “well-connected” suppliers and partners involved in the contract to supply 600 Prasa trainsets, Gibela managing director Marc Granger concedes that… Read More

FALLING CEMENT DEMAND – FEWER CLINKER TRAINS

For some time, Peter Bagshawe observes, the only regular traffic at the southern end of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast line has been clinker conveyed daily from Simuma, northbound to Mount Vernon (for… Read More

GAUTRAIN CENTURION STATION WARNING

According to Lyttelton Sector 7 Community Police Forum’s Chris Evans, a number of early morning armed robberies have occurred recently in the vicinity of the Gautrain station at Centurion. People… Read More

HERITAGE LOCO TO BE SCRAPPED

According to an announcement by the Sandstone Heritage Trust, it is the intention to scrap class 14R locomotive 1745, currently stored in Germiston. It was acquired by Sandstone some years ago, being… Read More

TRAINS & NEW NIGERIAN GOVT

Passengers interviewed on a Lagos-Ogun train by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) appealed to president-elect Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise transformation in the country’s rail transport. The… Read More

NIGERIAN MONORAIL

Rolling stock has arrived in Nigeria’s Cross River state, Calabar, to be used on the new monorail system which is virtually complete. State governor Liyel Imoke said he expects the trains to be… Read More

CCECC TO BUILD OGUN INTERCITY LINE

According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is to construct an intercity railway in Nigeria’s Ogun state in terms of a contract worth $US3.5… Read More

NIGERIAN RAIL PAST & PRESENT

Quotes from a discussion on a Skyscraper City site: “The colonial lines served narrow economic interests and mainly moved goods to the coast. Today Nigeria is essentially building from scratch. “Passenger… Read More

NIGERIAN HISTORIC STATISTICS

The Daily Independent, published in Lagos, recently set down some interesting historic statistics: “In Nigeria, actual railway construction started in 1898 with a 32km line of 1,067mm gauge… Read More

Mishaps

International Rail News

JEDDAH STATION DESIGN

Following an international design competition, Foster and partners in the UK are to develop for Saudi Arabia “the architectural vision for Jeddah's city-wide public transport plan.”…

TRACK-OF-THE-FUTURE RESEARCH

Britain’s  Institute of Railway Research (IRR) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), are constructing new testing facilities focusing on developing points and…

HITACHI’S NEW UK TRAIN INTERIORS

At the recent Railtex 2015 exhibition in Birmingham, Hitachi Rail Europe revealed conceptual designs for the interiors of proposed high-speed trains in Britain. The designs, it was explained, were drawn…

BATTERY TRAM IN SEATTLE

Seattle's South Lake Union Streetcar, opened in 2007, operates along a 2.1km line from the Westlake hub to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in South Lake Union. Transfers can be made at…