Transport in Libya

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Libya has had no railway in operation since 1965, all previous narrow gauge lines having been dismantled. Plans for a new network have been under development for some time (earthworks were begun between Sirt and Ras Ejder, Tunisia border, in 2001-5),[1] and in 2008 and 2009 various contracts were placed and construction work started on a 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge railway parallel to the coast from the Tunisian frontier (Ras Ejder) to Tripoli, and on to Misratah, Sirt , Benghazi and Al Bayda. Another railway line will run inland from Misratah to Sabha at the centre of a mineral-rich area.[2]

In the future the coastal line could be extended to As Sallum, Egypt.

An even more ambitious plan is for a trans-Saharan line connecting to Central Africa including Niger and Nigeria.[3]

Railway links to adjacent countries

  • Niger Niger - no - break-of-gauge - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)/1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
  • Egypt Egypt - railways under construction - Same gauge - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
  • Tunisia Tunisia - railways under construction - Same gauge - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) or break-of-gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)/1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)




Total: 83,200 km
Paved: 47,590 km
Unpaved: 35,610 km (1996 est.)

There are about 83,200 km of roads in Libya, 47,590 km of which are surfaced. 234 out of 1000 Libyans have cars, which is the highest rate in Africa. The best roads run along the coast between Tripoli and Tunis in Tunisia; also between Benghazi and Tobruk, connecting with Alexandria in Egypt. A fairly efficient bus service operates along these routes, with two main bus transport companies. One covers long-distance, international routes, while the other is chiefly engaged in shorter trips between towns. Bus fares are low and the standard of comfort, particularly on international routes is good, with air-conditioned vehicles and good service.

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