Europeans on track for Tripoli's rail project

17 January 2003
At least seven European steel manufacturers are understood to have submitted bids in early January to supply rails for the first phase of Libya's vast railway project.

Manufacturers from France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK submitted offers to the Railway Executive Board (REB) for the provision of 100,000 tonnes of finished rails, as did Polish and Ukrainian suppliers. The tracks will be used for the line stretching 191 kilometres from Ras Ejdeer on the Tunisian border to Tripoli. This is the first phase of the proposed 2,178-kilometre coastal railway, which will complete the southern Mediterranean rail link stretching from Morocco to Egypt. A second line will extend 992 kilometres south of Sirte to the oasis town of Sabha deep in the Saharan desert.

The Ras Ejdeer-Tripoli section is expected to carry 5 million passengers and 10 million tonnes of goods a year, according to the REB. The line, which the REB says will require 20 locomotives, 62 passenger coaches and 485 wagons, will be built by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) which won the construction contract three years ago (MEED 17:3:00)

Concrete sleepers for the western section of the railway project will be made at a factory at Al-Khums, 100 kilometres east of Tripoli. Germany's Walter Bauis building the plant, designed to produce about 500,000 sleepers a year. A 30-kilometre railway line will be built linking the factory to Al-Khums port, where material for the construction of the railway will be shipped.

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