Here Are 5 Countries With The Best Train Systems In Africa

Africa has tried to construct more train tracks in a bid to promote urbanization in the continent. While most of the tramways are built with borrowed funds from the continent’s largest creditor, China, accumulating more debts, transportation has improved for the population.

Here are five countries with the best-performing train systems in Africa based on the number of tramways and functioning metro train systems.


Africa’s largest country Algeria has a metro system located in its capital city Algiers. The Metro d’Alger which was opened in 2011, consists of one line which is served by ten stations and has another nine stations presently under construction.

Algeria has 6 other tramlines which include tramways in Constantine, Oran, Ouargla, Sétif, Sidi Bel Abbès, and Mostaghanem.

South Africa

The South African state-owned commuter rail service, Metrorail, is a 2,228-kilometer-long network which operates in six of South Africa’s most populated cities and is served by 471 stations.

The tramways are located in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria.


Completed in 1985, the Metro Leger de Tunis – المترو الخفيف لمدينة تونس – located in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis is an eighty-two-kilometre elevated system which resembles a tram network but is, in fact, a light railway. The system consists of five lines which are served by sixty-six stops.

Line 1 – 9.2 km between Tunis Marine and Ben Arous.

Line 2 – 8.9 km between Place de la Barcelone and Ariana.

Line 3 – 8.4 km between Place de Barcelone and Cite Ibn Khaldoun.

Line 4 – 15 km between Tunis Marine and Keiredinne – With plans to extend to Universite de la Manouba.

Line 5 – 9.8 km between Place de la Barcelone and El Intilaka.

Chart showing Top African countries with highest railway network


Egypt’s capital city Cairo was the first African city to install a city metro system when its 65.5 kilometre Metro al Anfaq – مترو أنفاق القاهرة‎ – was opened in 1987. Today the system consists of two lines which are served by fifty-three stations, one line which is half completed and another metro line and monorail system which are both due for completion in 2020.

Cairo is also served by a 30-kilometre-long tram system which links central Cairo with three cities in the country.

The country has two tramways which include Alexandria Tram and Trams in Greater Cairo.


Morocco launched its high-speed rail line on 26 November 2018, the first high-speed rail line linking Casablanca and Tangier, named Al-Boraq (البُراق). The rail system has two tramways which include the Casablanca tramway and the Rabat–Salé tramway.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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