CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is considering building a $500 million rail link from the southern city of Aswan to a north Sudanese border town, state media said on Wednesday, in a move that would connect the two countries’ rail networks.
The line would connect Aswan to Wadi Halfa on the Sudanese border and would pass through the Egyptian town of Abu Simbel, the site of two pharaonic temples moved to higher ground in the 1960s to save them from the rising waters of Lake Nasser.
Aswan and the Sudanese border town of Wadi Halfa are situated at opposite ends of Lake Nasser, a giant artificial lake filled by Nile waters and created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
Wadi Halfa, around 700 km (430 miles) north of Khartoum, marks the northern end of Sudan’s rail network. People and goods currently traverse the border via a ferry on Lake Nasser.
The rail link would extend for 310 km and would also serve Egyptian Nubian villages around Lake Nasser as well as Toshka, a southern desert reclamation project, state news agency MENA said, quoting Aswan governor Mostafa al-Sayyed.
Egypt is keen to maintain close ties with neighbouring Sudan, with which it shares strategic Nile river waters as well as longstanding cultural, political and trade links.
Writing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Giles Elgood