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Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania railway link study set for approval

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Africa  Sep 01, 2009

The tripartite meeting between Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania on the review and approval of the railway study is now scheduled for this month in Kigali, where experts are expected to broadly sanction. If given the go ahead to their political masters for the new proposed railway will link Isaka, Tanzania and Kigali, while a branch line would be established from Rwanda to Burundi, and the main line between Dar es Salaam and Isaka would be upgraded to international standard gauge.

The length of the line between Isaka and Kigali is said to be just under 700 KM overall, and the new railway, when completed, will, according to our sources in Kigali, allow average speeds of 120 KM per hour, a multiple of the present average speed for instance of Rift Valley Railways, which is said to linger in the 20+ KM per hour region.

Rwanda is the lead coordinator among the three states for the project, which is seen to allow Rwanda in the coming years to position itself as a key transit hub country of cargo between overseas and the African hinterland areas like the eastern Congo, for both exports as well as imports.

The study has been compiled in recent months and was accelerated recently when leading development partners sanctioned the project and pledged their financial support towards its completion.

The project would also add a further strategic rail link between the Indian Ocean port of Dar es Salaam to the inland nations in parallel with the Kenyan railway system, in order to add crucial redundancy to the main current traffic routes.

Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania railway link study set for approval

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