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West African High-Speed Rail Proposed


Published: 12/04/2013



The proposed new 1,179km east-west railway from Nigeria through Benin, Togo and Ghana to Côte d’Ivoire is now being punted as a “high-speed” line, though no specific figures or speeds have been mentioned. The five countries involved are looking for about $US13 million to fund a detailed feasibility study under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). The envisaged railway will link four capitals – Abidjan, Accra, Lome and Cotonou – with an appropriate station in Nigeria.

If – as seems likely – 1,435mm gauge is chosen, this should slot in with the standard-gauge network currently under construction in Nigeria. There would be no inter-connectivity with the existing railways in the other four countries, however. All use 1,000m gauge except Ghana (1,067mm). The all-in project is foreseen to cost in the region of $US60 billion.