The Missing Link in the Realization of the African Integrated High-Speed Railway Network: Rules on Technical Standards and Operation
One of the major objectives of the African Union (AU) is to develop an integrated high-speed railway network connecting major African cities for improved continental trade and competition. This paper provides an overview of the main technical aspects of high-speed railway lines with special focus on cross-border operational and technical interoperability. It briefly describes the missing link in realizing a truly interoperable high-speed railway network for the African case. It introduces the technical aspects of railway lines that must be unified for cross-border operation. It also outlines the reasons that may explain the global success of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), offering the author’s view on factors that continue to influence decision making in favor of ERTMS over other national and not interoperable solutions such as the Chinese Train Control System (CTCS). The paper concludes by suggesting the way forward for combined continental effort to realize the African Integrated High-Speed Railway Lines Network as part of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
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