A New Railway Line “Babanousa -Bahr ALarab”

Prefeasibility Study for Construction Of A New Railway Line Parallel to the Line Babanousa -Bahr ALarab

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Project cost = 333–462.5 m$

  • Total length (Main line + Stations) = 185 km
  • Annual Net Benefits = 192.5 m SDG
  • Internal Rate of Return = 14%
  • Pay –back Period = 10 years
  • Economic Age = 80 Years
  • Execution Period = 3 Years
Project Description

The existing line with its very primitive technical features will not serve adequately the transportation needs of the Southern Region especially after the execution of the huge development projects which have been launched after the signing of the Comprehensive peace Agreement in January 2006. To meet these transportation requirements a project for construction of a new line parallel to the existing Babanousa–Baheralarab line has been launched.

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

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 objectives:

Babanousa-Bahralarab line is the only railway line which connects the South Sudan Republic to the outer world through Port Sudan. The line ends in Bahr alarab – Station. Bahr EL Ghazal State (South Sudan) population according to the last census amounts to 2.4 million inhabitants and constitute 46.5 percent of the total populations of the whole South Sudan Republic.
South Sudan Republic is endowed with greater wealth in production of important commodities like tea, coffee, pineapple, mango and wood products. The region is endowed also with greater wealth of different types of livestock.

Estimates of livestock in South Sudan Republic is as follows:
Capital Investment:

The cost of construction of the line is estimated at 333 m$.


Expected Revenues:
Merchandise receipts:
In the first stage it is envisaged that transportation requirements and mainly imports will not exceed 500,000tons. Those can easily be met by running of one freight train daily inwards and outwards i.e. 730 trains annually.

Total returns from cargo to and from Wau (in South Sudan Republic) is calculated as follows:
Distance Bahr alarab – port sudan = 1940 km.
Distance Bahr alarab – Khartoum = 1163 km.
50% of the traffic is envisaged to be imports from Port Sudan to Bahr alarab i.e. 500,000 tons .
The remainder will be local traffic from Khartoum &Kosti i.e. petroleum products, Sorghum, Salt, sugar, food stuffsetc, and different commodities.

Transit Traffic:

Construction of the new line will also facilitate the transportation of the foreign trade of the neighboring land–locked countries (Uganda, DRCongo…etc) to Port Sudan. Transit traffic is estimated to reach 500,000 tons in the first stage (1,105 million ton-km) .

Passenger Traffic:

One weekly passenger train will be run between Bahr alarab and Khartoum which Cary annually 72,800 passengers.
Revenues expected will be in the form of line usage fees which equal 0.09 SDG from the ton- km and 0.1 SDG for passenger – km .

Total revenues are estimated as follows: Ton kilometer transported will amount to the following:

From Port Sudan to Bahr alarab= 500,000 ×1940 km = 970 million ton – km

From Bahr alarab to Khartoum and vice versa=500,000× 1163
= 581 million ton km

Total ton – km=970 + 581+ 1105 =2,656 million ton- km

Total passenger –km =85 million passenger- km

Freight revenue=2,656 million ton-km× 0.09 SDG=SDG239 million

Passenger revenue=85 million passenger km×0.1SDG=8.5 million SDG

Total revenue =239 + 8.5 = SDG247.5 million.

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