Tunis is keen to develop its railway network linking the capitals city centre to the surrounding suburbs as a way of reducing Tunisias reliance on subsidised fuel.
Speaking at MEEDs Rail & Metro Summit on 30 October, Abderrahmene Gamha, president and chief executive officer (CEO), at Tunisias national rail authority [Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens] said there is a need to build more suburban mass-transit lines to encourage commuters to travel by public transport.
Currently 75 per cent of Tunis population commutes by car, which places pressure on fuel consumption, which is subsidised by the country. It is a big issue for the government, he said.
To date, construction contracts for two of the five planned lines forming the suburban network have been awarded.
In February, a consortium led by French company Colas Rail, including German firm Siemens and Tunisian company Somatra-Get, won the contract to build lines D and E, covering a total distance of 20 kilometres.
Line D will connect Tunis to Mannouba and Gobaa to Mnihla. Line E will connect Tunis to Ezzouhour and Zahrouni.
Gamha also outlined plans to develop a 800km high-speed railway connecting Tunisia to its neighbours Libya and Algeria. He said the first phase would involve extending Tunisias existing railway to connect with the Libyan border.
He said a feasibility study into this project would be launched soon.
More from the MEED Rail & Metro Summit
- Etihad Rail edges closer to phase 2 award
- Region needs to recruit 108,000 people for the rail sector
- Bechtel rail head asks for streamlined procurement
- Traffic management a challenge for Riyadh Metro builders
- Arab rail network to cost $90bn to deliver
- Arab countries need 30,000 kilometres of rail network
- Approval granted for GCC railway authority
- GCC to work with foreign partners for local manufacturing
- Award expected in November for Bahrain-Saudi rail link
- GCC railway needs its own standards
- GCC railway targets 2018 completion date
- Cairo metro to complete phase 2 of third line next year
- First Al-Sufouh trams to arrive in Dubai at end of year
- Jeddah metro readies for pre-project management contract tender
- Tehran expects to complete third metro line in 2015
- Kurdistans Suleimaniyah light rail project to tender in 2014
- Length of Middle East rail networks set to double
- Local talent needed for regional railway sector