ERITREA'S government has provided 1 000 soldiers to work on rehabilitation of the 124 km of the 950 mm gauge Eritrean Railway west from Asmara to Agordat.

Continuing a further 109 km from Agordat would take the line to Biscia, thereafter to Tessenei and the Sudanese border, and railway Chief Executive Amanuel Ghebreselassie is pushing ahead with plans to extend the line to Kassala in Sudan.

Rehabilitation of the 117 km section between the port of Massawa and Asmara was completed in 2003, despite mountainous terrain and the lack of resources (RG 6.06 p357). As yet there is no scheduled passenger service east of Asmara, but requests for special trains are fulfilled using Italian-built steam locomotives.