Sudan Railways Corporation (SRC) resumed trips from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa after halt of more than thirteen years.
SRC General Manager, Makawi Mohamed Awad said that the corporation has maintained the line two months ago.
The resumption of the Khartoum/Wadi Halfa weekly trip has positive meanings, where railway management was able to repair locomotives stalled for a long time, in spite of the economic conditions experienced by the country.
The recent feasibility studies conducted on the cost of commodities’ transport between Egypt and Sudan revealed that using railways is cheaper and safer.
Sudan railways also contribute in transporting passengers from Khartoum North Station to all parts of the country and back.
SPC should benefit from the Egyptian experience in using the train as one of the transport means as it is considered a pioneering experience that deserves to be followed.
Trains are more comfortable and it transport hundreds of passengers simultaneously with cheap cost.
Apart from the feasibility studies on the issue, we think that the return of Sudan Railways to life has its emotional link especially for those who worked and traveled in the past by the train.
The resumption of Khartoum/Wadi Halfa route would help supports Sudan’s economy, which has been plunged into crisis by the loss of most of the country’s oil production by South Sudan secession.
It goes without saying that Road traffic is expensive. The railway is cheaper, faster, and safer together with bigger capacity. Livestock arrives in better condition by rail.
Within two years, officials hope to renew between 1,000 and 2,000 kilometres of track across the country.
That would facilitate the shipment of goods across the country including the transport of livestock and agricultural products, which account for around 20 percent of Sudan’s exports, according to Central Bank of Sudan data.
The rehabilitation of Sudan Railways is a right step in the right direction considering it as the cheapest means of transport besides its contribution in linking production stations with consumer and export stations.
Modernization of Sudan Railways also represents a good start for implementing the coastal railway linking all African states, considering that Sudan is the eastern gate for African exports and imports besides the existence of the required main infrastructure which will be improved within the coming two years as planned.
Muawad Mustafa Rashid