A New Railway Line “Salloom Station and Swaken – Shaick Ibrahim Port”

Prefeasibility Study for Construction Of A New Railway Line Between Salloom Station and Swaken to Shaick Ibrahim Port

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  • Project cost = 180 – 250 m$
  • Total length (Main line + Stations) = 100 km
  • Annual Net Benefits = 20.8 m SDG
  • Internal Rate of Return = 10%
  • Pay –back Period = 9 years
  • Economic Age = 80 Years
  • Execution Period = 2 Years
Project Objectives:

After the establishment of Osman Digna Port the Livestock was removed from the western station 7 km south of Port Sudan to Shaikhibrahim via Swakin. Livestock transportation constitutes more than 5% of exports. The government at present is launching many plans to increase exports of livestock.
Also in 1992 passenger trips to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were terminated in Osman DignaPort .

Work is going at present in an establishment of a duty free zone in the area lying in the midst of the distance between Port Sudan and Osman Digna Port. In future the free zone will be the major terminal point for most exports and imports, and there are plans also for establishment of transformation industries for export commodities in the free zone area. The feasibility study for the establishment of the free zone indicates that the total benefits for the first phase exceeds one billion US$. Those benefits include transport benefits which is estimated at 250 million US$ .

The Sea Ports Corporation is planning to establish 5 docks in Osman Digna Port to cater for containers transportation. Transportation by containers constitutes at present more than 30% of imports i.e. more than 1.2 million tons annually.

For all the above mentioned reasons a project has been launched for connection of Salloom station ( 29 km. South of Port Sudan ) with Osman Digna Port at the Red Sea (70km) and further to be extended to Shaikh Ibrahim Port (30km). The project is considered as one of the strategic and top priority projects of Sudan railways .

Project Description:

The project aims at construction of a new line between Salloomstationon the section Haiya – Port Sudan to Shaikh Ibrahim Port on the Red Sea.
Total Length of the line amounts to 100kilometers.

The line will be constructed according to modern specifications which includes:

♦ Design standards: UIC, Chinese (GB), European (EN), AREMA, BSC.
♦ Track construction: Ballasted track with long welded rail.
♦ Track gauge: standard gauge 1435mm. In some routes (1067mm capable of subsequent modification to1435mm)Dual gauge
♦ Design train speed: (120) km/h future 160 km/h.
♦ Maximum gradient: 0.6% (recommended)
♦ Minimum curve radius: 1200m (and 800m in strict condition)
♦ Axle load: 25T
♦ Traction load: 3500T
♦ Effective length of arrival-departure track in stations: 750m
♦ Width of sub-grade surface: 7.5 at top of sub-ballast
♦ Thickness of sub-ballast and sub-grade: 600mm
♦ Embankment: depth of embankment under sub ballast varied.
♦ Ballast thickness below sleeper: 350mm for main line, 250mm for station and siding track.
♦ Rail: 60 kg/m rail (UIC 60)
♦ Sleepers: Pre-stressed concrete standard gauge (1435mm).IN some routes Pre-stressed concrete sleepers for Dual gauge
♦ Fastenings: Pandrol, Vossloh, or equivalent
♦ Turnouts: 1:12 and 1:9
♦ Subgrade & Ballast Cross Section
♦ Subgrade Slope 1:1.5 , 1.2 (According Soil Classifications )
♦ Ballast Slope ( 1: 1.5 or 1 : 1.75 ) Upper width of ballast 3.3mStandard structure gauge.

Signaling and Telecommunications Signaling:
General features:

A new signal and traffic control system should:
♦ Provide for overall direction and traffic management by a central controller
♦ Provide safely for trains, track maintenance work, etc.
♦ Not impose unnecessary or arbitrary restrictions on train movements, such as speed limits, or flexibility of operation (including shunting and special movements). In other words it should encourage maximum efficiency of operations.
♦ Be adaptable and expandable to meet changing traffic requirements.
♦ Be economical to install.
♦ make optimum use of advanced but proven technology such as computers, electronics, and radio communications.
♦ Permit advantageous use of new technology as it becomes available .
♦ Be easily maintainable .
♦ Be adaptable , with suitable variations, to the railways network .

Technical features:

1. Train Control: Electronic Train Control System ETCS/CTCS.
2. Station Interlocking: Computer Based Interlocking.
3. Outdoor: Electric point machines and colour light signals.
4. Block Operation System: Semi-automatic.
5. Train Detection: On-board Communication dependant.
6. Monitoring: Centralized monitoring system.


As the existing communications facilities impose heavy constraints and limitations on train operations and the railway’s performance , it is crucial that the whole telecommunications network be improved , whether or not the track and signalling systems are upgraded or renewed .

General features:

The future telecommunications system must be designed for:

• Short, medium and long distances.
• Multi – purpose applications:

1. Train security (signalling circuits).
2. Train operation (dispatching).
3. Freight and passenger transportation (commercial).
4. Railways administration (service and maintenance).
5. Railways management.

Technical features:

1. Back-bone: Optical fibre cables and SDH with STM-1 System.
2. Train –to – land: Wireless Radio 152 MHz or 400 MHz band, TETRA or equivalent.
3. Dispatching System: Via Fibre optics and radio.

Project Cost:
Construction of the line Salloom/Shaikh Ibrahim Port costs approximately
180 m$.

Economic & Financial Analysis

1. Livestock:

The railway can transport more than 4,782,000 of the livestock which are exported annually. The removal of the quarantine to Swakin will lead to stopping of livestock transportation by rail if the line is not constructed. In accordance all livestock revenue from origin to Swakin are considered as revenues which are generated by the project. Those revenues are estimated as follows:

  • Average revenue per head from Khartoum = 8SDG.
  • Total revenues for transportation of 4,782,000 heads of livestock = 4,782,000×8 = 38,256,000SDG .
2. Passengers:

Number of Passengers who pass through Osman Digna Port amounted to 250.000 annually. Accompanied luggage reached in weight more than 60.000 tons. On assumption that 10% of the passengers are from the Red Sea and KassalaStates and 20% travel by other modes the railway can transport at least 70% of that number.
Total revenues which can be generated are estimated as follows:

  • Number of passengers =175,000 passengers
  • Fare per passenger Port Sudan to Khartoum =60SDG
  • Revenue from transportation of 175.000 passengers = 175,000 ×60 = 10,500,000 SDG.
  • Revenue from baggage = 42,000tons 50 = 2,100,100 SDG.
  • Total revenues = 38,265,000 + 10,500,000 = 48,765,000 SDG .
Transportation of freight:

Total exports and imports via Osman Digna Port totals approx. 107,633 tons annually. The railway can at least transport 50% of that cargo i.e. 54,000 tons.
Total revenues which are expected from transportation of 54,000 tons are estimated at 1,080,000 SDG(20SDG per ton ) .
Total revenues which can be generated after the construction of the line are summed up as follows:

– Livestock = 38.3 million SDG
– Passengers = 10.5 million SDG
– Baggage = 2.1 million SDG
– Marchandise = 1 million SDG
Total = 52 million SDG

After deduction of transport costs which are estimated to constitute 60% of total revenues net benefits will amount to around SDG 20.8 million annually .


To evaluate the financial viability and economic feasibility of the project we apply the following criteria:

1 profitability :

= Net benefits = 20.8 = 39.5%
Total revenues 52.6

2 Pay-back period :

the project will recover all its investment cost in a period which will not exceed 9 years including construction period (24 Months ) .

3 Internal rate of Return IRR) :

Internal rate of the return is estimated at 10%.

4 Economic and Social Benefits:

Increase the volume of GDP.
Promote the free zones activities.
Activate livestock export.
Improve standard of living for the people of Red Sea State.
Provide direct link to Swakin Port and facilitate the transport of pilgrims and other passengers from and to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

5/ Environmental Impact:

In comparison with road carriers the railways have the following advantages :

Saving of 10-15 times in used areas.
Savings of 3-5 times in fuel.
Cause 2 percent only of the total road accidents in comparison to 98 by trucks.
Pollute environment 75% less than road carries.

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