AFRAILWAYS is developing Afrail Express as a high-speed passenger rail system to connect the entire African continent, from South Africa to Morocco, and Nigeria to Egypt. Afrail Express is seeking to appoint a main contractor for the construction of the infrastructure.
The first phase for the Afrail Express high-speed passenger rail, powered by Maglev, is to connect Johannesburg to Lagos, Lagos to Cairo, and Cairo to Johannesburg.
Maglev is a system of train transportation that uses two sets of magnets: one set to repel and push the train up off the track, and another set to move the elevated train ahead, taking advantage of the lack of friction. There are both high speed, intercity systems (250 mph)), and low speed, urban systems (50 mph) to (120 mph)).
Eventually, routes would pass through countries including Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, DRC and Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
Afrail Express is a development project between Switzerland-based Afrailways and Namibia-based Groot Suisse Industries.
According to construction news portal The Construction Index, the team behind the project said that Afrail Express has the potential to transport more than 600 million paying passengers and more than 500 million packages through its express courier service every week when fully commissioned.
‘With African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) set up to accelerate intra-African trade and boosting Africa’s trading position, Afrail Express seeks to help Africa meets the Agenda 2063,’ said Rachel Long of Afrailways.
Afrailways said that the construction and operations of Afrail Express has potential to create more than 50 million direct and indirect job opportunities throughout Africa, with the possibility to contribute over $5 trillion to the African GDP.