Egyptian and Sudanese transport officials have started talks for a new 900km-long rail line connecting the two countries to improve transportation of passengers and goods.

Sudan Transport Minister undersecretary Muawia Ali Khalid held discussions with his Egyptian counterpart, Hassan Al-Laithi, regarding the new rail connection.

The Egyptian delegation, which visited Ashkit, Sudan, presented a model with possible routes for the project. These routes include Aswan to Toshka and an Abu Simbel path with a 66km bridge to Qastal to lead into Wadi Halfa, the northern city of Sudan.

The new rail line in Sudan will connect Aswan to Khartoum and be constructed according to Egyptian network specifications.

Upon completion of the project, people will be able to travel to the Sudanese capital from Sidi Gaber station in Alexandria, Egypt, without any stops.

Earlier this month, the African Development Bank (AfDB) agreed to provide a €145m loan to finance reliability and performance upgrades of the Egyptian railway system.

The funding will be used to enhance operational safety and increase network capacity on national rail lines under the Egypt National Railways Modernization Project (ENRMP).

Under the ENRMP, a cost-effective train protection system will be installed on 950km of train line along the busy routes connecting Alexandria in the north to Negh Hammadi in the south, as well as Port Said in the east.