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Egypt to build railway lines extending to Libya, Sudan

Egypt to build railway lines extending to Libya, Sudan

» Egypt to build railway lines extending to Libya, Sudan

Egypt’s transport minister on Sunday, disclosed plans to build a railway line to reach the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa and to expand the northern line to Libya’s Benghazi.

The statement came as part of the efforts of the Egyptian government to reform the transportation system of the country, including an ailing rail network with a weak safety record.

At a news conference in Cairo, the government agreed on ‘a range of rail transport projects that could be carried out in collaboration with investors,’ Transport Minister Kamel al-Wazir said.

They include “the development of an Aswan-Toshka railway line that will stretch to the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa,” he said, pointing to locations in the south of Egypt and a city across the border.

Egypt to build railway lines extending to Libya, Sudan

He also said plans had been made to widen the Marsa Matrouh-Salloum line in the northwest of Egypt to reach the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Since a 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-time tyrant Moamer Kadhafi, neighboring Libya has been mired in anarchy.

Currently, the country is divided between competing governments in the east and west, with Cairo supporting Khalifa Haftar, the eastern strongman.

Egypt has been trying to construct cross-border railway lines with neighboring countries under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

In recent years, the rail network has been struck by a number of accidents, mostly attributed on decades of inadequate maintenance, neglect and a shortage of funds.

In March, when two passenger trains collided in the capital Cairo, over a dozen people were injured, causing a brief suspension of national rail services.

After a train accident at Cairo’s central station in February last year, Sisi tapped Wazir for the post of transport minister, killing 22 people.

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