US Railnet plans $11 billion railway project in southern Africa

 

By Reuters and Zimbabwe Digital News

 

Lusaka: US based Railnet International plans to invest an estimated $11 billion in a modern railway line and high speed trains linking Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, its chief executive said this week.

Railnet CEO Donald Kress said in an interview his railway development and construction company was in talks with governments in the three countries and signed an agreement to start feasibility studies in Zambia.

“We have a group known as Magcor International and their CEO has arranged financing through a group of investors,” Kress told reporters following the signing of an agreement at the weekend.

“Until we have signed a contract with the investors, they have requested to remain anonymous,” Kress said in an interview.

The investment in the project, running from Zambia’s Copperbelt province to the port of Beira in Mozambique via Harare in Zimbabwe includes the cost of locomotives and wagons, he said.

Feasibility studies were expected to begin in the next six weeks and would be followed by detailed engineering design for the project on the Zambian side, Kress said.

Construction was expected to begin in January 2021, Kress said, adding that Railnet would replace the existing system to allow freight trains to travel at 120 km/hour and passenger trains at 160 km/hour.

Lungu said the project would enable business including mining companies in Africa’s second-largest copper producer to transport bulk cargo by railway instead of using roads.

Railnet would operate the modern railway for a number of years and hand it over to the government after recovering its investment from the profit made, Lungu said.

Who is Railnet International

On its website Railnet International is described as a US based corporation out of the state of Florida that specializes in the Designing, Building, Operation, and Maintenance of Railroad Systems.

Established and managed by a team of railway professionals with over 400 years combined experience.

Railnet offers a comprehensive infrastructure package from project planning, design implementation and construction to operations maintenance.  This makes Railnet a single point of responsibility or one stop shop for railway projects built to suit the needs of our clients.

 

Railnet specializes in turnkey railway infrastructure under Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT), Design-Build-Operate-Maintain (DBOM) and Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) contracts under various technical and legal structures.

Aside from building railway infrastructure projects, Railnet can also offer an integrated transportation plan for passenger and freight transportation.

 

“We propose a smooth and seamless transfer for connections with ships, buses, taxis and trains to ensure minimal passenger waiting.  Total rail services will be provided to accommodate the needs of the people,” said the company.

 

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