CAIRO: Transport officials from Sudan and Egypt have started talks to determine a 900 km rail route connecting the two countries through the town of Wadi Halfa in northern Sudan.
Discussions were initiated during a visit by an Egyptian delegation to the Ashkit border area.
Technicians and specialists from both countries took part in the talks.
Muawia Ali Khalid, Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Transport, spoke with his Egyptian counterpart, Hassan Al-Laithi, on a rail link to increase trade volumes between the two countries.
The first phase of the project is expected to link Aswan to Wadi Halfa.
The Egyptian delegation presented a model describing possible routes, including Aswan to Toshka and a path from Abu Simbel with a 66 km bridge to Qastal to flow into Wadi Halfa, a distance of 350 km.
Another desert alternative has also been offered.
The rail line in Sudan, including the link between Aswan and Khartoum, will be built according to the specifications of the Egyptian network.
Once completed, passengers will be able to board the train at Sidi Gaber Station in Alexandria and travel nonstop to the Sudanese capital.
This line will carry passengers and goods between the two countries.
A future expansion plan will link Egypt to most of Sudan.
The death toll in the clashes between Sudan and Darfur stands at 132. The UN envoy to Sudan welcomes the status of emergency in West Darfur due to the violence.