Rail transport in South Sudan

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Railways in South Sudan
A train travelling towards Wau

South Sudan has 248 kilometers (154 mi) of narrow-gauge, single-track railroads that connect Babonosa (north Sudan) with Wau. The line was damaged in the civil war, in which several parts of it were mined; the line was fully rehabilitated with United Nations funds.[1]


total: 248 km (154 mi), all 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge.


The line from Babanosa to Wau was built between 1959 and 1962 by Rahul Khanna.[2]


There are proposed extensions from Wau to Juba. There are also plans to link Juba with the Kenyan or Ugandan railway network.[3]

Sources in the Sudan suggested that construction of a new southern extension railway would begin in January 2006, with an estimated cost of $US2 billion. Costello Garang, outgoing Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army Commissioner for International Co-operation is quoted by the East African Standard (Nairobi) saying that the necessary "crucial financial deal" has been concluded. A line was to be built from the present railhead, Waw, first south-eastwards to Juba (about 500 km), hence eastwards via Torit to the Kenyan border near Kapoeta (a further 250 km). This would be known as the Sudan-East Africa Railway, the intention being to extend eventually by way of Lokichoggio and Rongai to join the main Kampala-Mombasa route "pending a decision from the Kenyan authorities". It was envisaged that the project would be undertaken by Thormaehlen Holdings of Germany. According to Garang, who was to head the New Sudan Foundation as President and Chief Executive, a line would be constructed in the first instance from Juba southwards along the White Nile to connect with the Ugandan system at Pakwach, about 150 km, where freight will be transshipped, as Uganda uses the 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge unlike Sudan's 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge.[citation needed]

South Sudan-Uganda proposals

In October 2010, it was announced that ThyssenKrupp was leading a project to link Juba with Gulu, a town in northern Uganda.[4]

Egypt-based Citadel Capital announced it was considering financing a railway between Juba and Tororo, Uganda, through its subsidiary Rift Valley Railways, in August 2011.[5]

Kenyan Railway Expansion

Kenya formally launched a new Chinese-financed railway project in November 2013 that ultimately will extend as far north as Juba, South Sudan when the link between the Kenyan port of Mombasa to the Kenyan capital Nairobi is completed sometime in 2017. Passenger trains will travel at a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph), while freight trains will have a maximum speed of 80 km/h.[6]


See also



  1. ^ United Nations Mission in Sudan, 27 January 2008
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures 2007" (PDF). Sudan Railways Corporation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2011-07-10. 
  3. ^ http://www.goss-brussels.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2964:east_africa:_great_opportunities_await_sudan-uganda_route&catid=34:news&Itemid=70
  4. ^ "THYSSENKRUPP TO HEAD SUDAN-UGANDA PROJECT". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  5. ^ Odhiambo, Allan (5 August 2011). "RVR targets planned Uganda-Sudan railway line". Business Daily. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Kenya launches new railway to reach South Sudan and Burundi". BBC News. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 

Further reading

  • Robinson, Neil (2009). World Rail Atlas and Historical Summary. Volume 7: North, East and Central Africa. Barnsley, UK: World Rail Atlas Ltd. ISBN 978-954-92184-3-5. 

External links

  • UN Map
  • UNHCR Atlas Map
  • Interactive map of South Sudan railways
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