Current Date:

Monday, 14 November 2016

Editorial: Sudan Railways Revival

Every now and then our officials affirm that the government is working to rehabilitate Sudan Railways to resume transporting goods and passengers.

We, in Sudan Vision, called for Sudan Railways Corporation rehabilitation in several editorials and columns, to the extent that we proposed postponing all the government investment projects and transform its funding to rehabilitate Sudan Railways.
However, Sudan Railways comes on top of the giant government establishment as it owns a US$22 billion dollars representing its main infrastructure including the 5000 kilometers of rails besides the maintenance workshops and related industries.
Having such infrastructure makes Sudan Railways Corporation on top of other public institutions such as electricity, dams or even roads and bridges.
We believe that Sudan Railways Corporation is an inoperative investment despite its importance to a nation which is endevouring to overcome all the economic challenges and burdens.
Transporting passengers by train as a first step towards rehabilitation of Sudan Railways is commendable because it will contribute in reducing the travel by road besides it relative low cost for the passengers.
Up to the seventies of last century Sudan Railways Corporation was transporting about 95% of goods and passengers, but now it transports only 5% of the goods and almost zero for passengers.
The wrong government policies suspended resources and infrastructure amounting to more than US$22 billions to establish parallel investments funding of which could have been directed to rehabilitate Sudan Railways.
We recall the proposal of linking Sudan with Chad with rails to reduce the cost of transportation besides easing exportation and importation process, besides a new proposal to link Ethiopia with Sudan by rails for the same purpose.
Such proposals, if implemented, will affect positively the Sudanese economy and will definitely lead to availability of cheaper commodities and goods.
We urge the private sector to give a hand in supporting rehabilitation of Sudan Railways Corporation to guarantee sustainable services.
As for the Ministry of Transport there must be a clear strategy to rehabilitate Sudan Railways with its enormous departments for the purpose of supporting the national economy.