Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Tunisiens (SNCT) expects to complete by June 2019 the technical studies on tracks, trackbed, bridges and buildings for the rail line linking Medenine in southeastern Tunisia to the national mainline railway in Gabes.
Construction work on the rail line, which is to be procured as a public-private partnership (PPP) project, is expected to take place between the end of 2019 and the end of 2021, it was revealed in a recent PPP conference in Tunis.
The project budget for the proposed 74-kilometre line is between TND240m ($86m) and TND600m ($216m) depending on the final technical specifications.
The budget will cover: main technical installations; construction of stations and tracks; electrification; line and station signalling; and communications network.
The project was first launched in 1985, following which land acquisition and infrastructure works began. The project stalled in 1988.
The updated scheme, which falls within the country’s 2016-2020 development plan, aims to let the network stay within the area planned and acquired in the 1980s “to avoid high expropriation costs and delays”.
The rail will link the port and logistics zone of Zarzis, the industrial zones of Tataouine, Medenine and Gabes, and the free trade area in Ben Guerdane.
The rail will also feature a passenger line, which will cater to routes originating in Gabes to Zarzis, via Medenine; Djerba; Tataouine, via Medenine; and Ben Guardane.
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