East Africa needs about $25bn, or nearly two-thirds of Kenya's annual output, in a decade to boost its railways to increase trade, according to the East African Community's (EAC) deputy secretary general for infrastructure and planning.
Alloys Mutabingwa said East Africa needs $20bn-$25bn under the masterplan.
The EAC aims to complete the investment plan by the end of the year.
The plan proposes lines between inland countries and the ports of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Kenya's Mombasa.
Work to upgrade the lines is expected to start in 2013.
The African Development Bank is the lead financial advisor for the project and the EAC is looking at other options such as equity and debt markets to raise funds.