Railways AfricaTM

Issue: 3 - 2015

Africa Rail - high note on the continent’s transport calendar – tops management agendas once again this June. Prominent key speakers head the programme, followed by leading names in railway circles, representative of countries throughout Africa.

Though there is nothing to beat word-of-mouth, or person-to-person sharing of know-how, it is the written word that spreads the message afterwards, putting down the essentials for everyone to read. We’ll be doing exactly that - after all, Railways Africa has been covering the field for very nearly sixty years.

In a recent issue we touched on noteworthy events and developments during the past three decades. In the context of Africa Rail and the industry’s important people brought together, hopefully a little repetition will not be out of place.

For much of that time (we wrote) rail on the continent didn’t seem to be getting very far. “But ten years into the new century, striking changes altered everything. Suddenly, ambitious new lines were being built in north, west, east and southern Africa. They included just about everything in the catalogue – like the 320km/h high-speed line coming on stream in Morocco, 3,000km of route rebuilt in Nigeria (likewise Angola) and new off-the-shelf light rail in Addis Ababa, not to mention lengthy stretches of standard gauge begun in Nigeria and Kenya, with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to follow.

“In South Africa itself, where things had really got behindhand, new orders by Transnet and Prasa for locomotives and rolling stock - the largest ever placed - made world news.”

All this makes great copy, as they say in the publishing world, but make no mistake, railways in Africa have a long way still to go. We look forward to reporting on further achievements this decade – and telling it like it is.