During 2011, Sudan signed an accord with China, agreeing to the building of a line of about 300km from the western railhead at Nyala, through the Marra Plateau region of western Darfur, to neighbouring Chad, which currently has no railway. Following the subsequent signing of an agreement between Chad’s ministry of transport & civil aviation and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) , construction is scheduled to begin in February. The document is described as a “four-year plan” for two routes at a total cost of $US5.6 billion. Altogether, some 1,364km of new construction is to be undertaken, on 1,435mm gauge to “Chinese standards”. Rolling stock suitable for speeds of 120km/h is to be supplied from China.
The main-line is to run 836km westwards from Adre on the border with Sudan to Chad’s capital N’Djamena. Work is to start from Adre on the first 161km section to Abéché, at a cost of $US1.13 billion. A second line is to run 528km southwards from Chad’s capital N’Djamena to Moundou and Koutéré on the border with Cameroon. Koutéré lies roughly 250km from Cameroon’s northern railhead, Ngaoundéré