- This article is part of the history of rail transport by country series
Port of Bujumbura railway
From 1947 to 1982, there was a 600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in) narrow gauge industrial railway within the boundaries of the port of Bujumbura on Lake Tanganyika. The railway carried only goods traffic. Its operator was Office Congolais des Chemins des fer des Grands Lacs (CFL).
Since around the turn of the 21st century, there have been several proposals for a railway between Burundi and nearby countries. The existing railway networks in nearby Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge, although TAZARA and other nearby countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) use the 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge leading to some potential difficulties.
As early as the 1980s, the Kagera Basin Organization carried out economic feasibility studies into a would-be KBO railway system linking Burundi, Rwanda and the (DRC), but that proposed system never came to fruition.
In 2000, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) launched the Great Lakes railway project involving both rail and water transport on Lakes Tanganyika, Kivu, and Edward connecting Burundi, the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. The aim of that project was to improve connections between the Great Lakes and the southern African 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) rail network. As with the would-be KBO railway system, the COMESA proposal was not implemented.
By 2004, the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority, based in Mombasa, Kenya, was promoting a project to link Kisangani with Mombasa using a new line from Kasese to Kisangani, with feeder lines linking Kasese with Goma and then via Bukavu to Kigali and Bujumbura.
At a meeting in August 2006 with members of the Rwanda Patriotic Front, Wu Guanzheng, of the Communist Party of China, confirmed the intention of the People's Republic of China to fund a study into the feasibility of constructing a railway connecting at Isaka with the existing metre gauge Tanzanian railway network, and running via Kigali in Rwanda through to Burundi.
- Robinson, Neil (2009). World Rail Atlas and Historical Summary. Volume 7: North, East and Central Africa. Barnsley, UK: World Rail Atlas Ltd. p. 13. ISBN 978-954-92184-3-5.
- Investment Opportunities in the Northern Corridor with emphasis in Transport Infrastructure (PDF). Kampala, Uganda: Transit Transport Coordination Authority of the Northern Corridor. 7–8 June 2004. p. 16.
- Bullock, Richard (November 2009). AICD Background Paper 17 - Off Track: Sub-Saharan African Railways (PDF). Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank.
- "China to Assist Rwanda". Railways Africa website. Railways Africa. Retrieved 21 September 2012. External link in
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This article is based on a translation of the German Wikipedia article Schienenverkehr in Burundi as at September 2012.