Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Rail transport in Rwanda

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There are currently no railway lines in Rwanda, although various plans to construct railways have been proposed, including a proposed line to Tanzania.


Burundi / Rwanda rail plans of 2000

In 2000 Burundi and Rwanda announced plans to build a rail line linking their two countries to the Tanzanian rail network, and thus to the Indian Ocean port of Dar es Salaam.

2006 delay

According to the Rwanda News Agency the African Development Bank was responsible for a 2006 delay in surveying the route of a rail link from Isaka through Rwanda's capital Kigali to Bujumbura. The initial feasibility study was to cost $2.7 million. According to the Rwandan News Agency officials stated the African Development Bank was to have loaned 90% of the cost of the railway, with the remainder paid by Tanzania and Rwanda.

The Rwanda News Agency reported that an Indian firm named RITES was expected to take over the contract for the management of the Isaka line.

A delegation from the American railroad BNSF also met with President Paul Kagame to discuss a route from Kigali to Isaka and at the same time the government announced that it had selected a German consulting company to undertake pilot work for the proposed mail line.

Chinese survey of 2007

China had played a big role in building the Tanzania's rail network, and in 2007 conducted a survey for extending the network into Rwanda.

2008 plan

On January 26, 2008 Rwanda's President announced plans for BNSF Railway to build a link from Rwanda's capital Kigali to Tanzania's rail network in Isaka Tanzania. Some reports state the new line would be a narrow gauge, like the rest of Tanzania's rail service. Other reports state that Tanzania has already decided to upgrade its Isaka line to standard gauge, and that the Isaki-Kigali link would also be standard gauge. Yet other reports state that the Isaka-Rwanda leg would be of standard gauge and that cargo would be transshipped to different rolling stock in Isaka.

According to Reuters political unrest in neighboring Kenya has disrupted the reliability of road and rail service through Kenya, and the Rwandan line would allow rail transport to bypass Kenya if rail transport was disrupted there in future.

The proposed plan was projected to be complete by 2013. Projected costs have not yet been announced.

2013 Plan

More plans are being made for a link from Uganda.

Opening ceremony in November 2013 for standard gauge railway from Mombasa, Kenya via Nairobi and Kampala to Rwanda and Burundi.

Under Construction

  • (Standard Gauge opening ceremony Nov 2013) New stations are bond to come up after the completion of the standard gauge railway
  • Mombassa - port
  • Emali - concrete sleepers
  • Nairobi - Kenya capital
  • Kampala - Uganda capital
  • Kigali - Rwandi capital
  • Bujumbura - Burundi capital
  • Technical measures to overcome Break of Gauge

    On 31 May 2008, a proposal to link the railways of Egypt, 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge, and Sudan, 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge, surfaced, with "Technical measures" to overcome the Break of gauge. What exactly these technical measures are was not revealed, but they presumably could be used on the new line to Kigali.

    Rail links with adjacent countries

  • Democratic Republic of Congo - 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge
  • Burundi - no railways yet
  • Uganda - 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge
  • Tanzania - 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) and 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) TAZARA - construction to start soon.
  • Kenya - 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) but proposed change to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge.
  • References

    Rail transport in Rwanda Wikipedia

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