About us

Connecting railways markets to distribution exports and imports land-locked countries trade enterprise livelihoods and communities Africa

To do this we need to connect our thinking.
We connect railways as integrated systems.

From concept to making an impact to ensuring success for years to come. That’s real connectivity. That’s connecting Africa with a lasting legacy.

About us

Thelo DB is an incorporated partnership between Thelo, an African industrial company, and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn E&C (DB), backed by a credible 180-year track record, technical capability, project development and insight into the railway market.

The Company brings global experience and capacity to the African Railway sector, supporting development of new railway systems and enhancing the operational efficiencies of existing networks.

Thelo DB provides unique solutions to current and prospective railway infrastructure projects, developers, and existing operators on the African continent.

The group places particular emphasis on Transportation and Logistics and, more specifically, Railway Projects.

Thelo DB has all the ingredients to become the pre-eminent African Railway company. Our long-term vision is to deliver rail for freight and passengers via a holistic, fit-for-purpose model for Africa – that will leave a lasting legacy to advance the economic development of the continent by turning its fully integrated model into key outcomes:

Delivering a sizeable number of railway corridors and networks across the continent

Building the capacity of African national railway operators

Training African talent into key roles across its various functions

Being the partner-of-choice for those who share our vision for a holistic approach, capacity building and high impact development.

About Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn Group (DB Group) is headquartered in Berlin, Germany and is a leading supplier of mobility and logistical services with a clear focus on rail transport. About 340,000 employees are employed by DB Group, including over 200,000 in the integrated rail system globally.


Represented today on every continent


Present/active in over 130 countries


12.8 million passengers daily


33,000 miles of track in Germany alone

By integrating transport and rail infrastructure, as well as through the economically and environmentally intelligent linking of all modes of transport, DB moves both people and goods. Its integrated rail system includes passenger transport activities in Germany, rail freight transport activities, operating service units, and rail infrastructure companies.

  • In passenger transport, DB serves more than twelve million passengers each day on our trains and buses in the integrated rail system
  • In rail freight transport, the DB network carries more than 230 million tons of freight each year
  • At about 33,000 km, the DB rail network in Germany is Europe’s longest and DB is also one of Germany’s largest energy suppliers
  • The major international subsidiaries DB Schenker and DB Arriva form part of the company’s expanded service portfolio:
    • DB Arriva transports over six million passengers per day throughout Europe by train and bus
    • DB Schenker transports over 100 million shipments on the road, about 1.2 million tons of air freight and almost 2.3 million TEU of ocean freight per year.

DB’s leading market positions in europe

Rail infrastructure network

1st place

Rail logistics & cargo

1st place

Local passenger transportation

1st place

Land transportation

1st place

Long distance passenger transporting

2nd place

DB's global leading market positions

Air Freight

4th place

Ocean Freight

5th place

Contract Logistics

5th place

Who we serve

Rail in Africa is renewing. We have a vision for a better, fully functional and integrated railways model and we bring the expertise and capacity to the market to realize this.

A model for Rail that connects our markets, goods and people in a meaningful way.

Delivering lasting impact for greater regional integration, helping to realize one African market through the AfCFTA.

With the ability to attract the investment that African railways need, delivering the right financial and social returns. And, most of all, that is fit-for-purpose for Africa and leaves a lasting legacy.

That’s why we are building and connecting railway corridors and networks across the continent – connecting national operators with greater capacity; connecting African talent through training for key roles across our various functions and activities; connecting with those that share our holistic, integrated vision.

Thelo DB stakeholders are broadly captured by five categories: