What we offer

Connecting Rail

Connecting Africa

Majority African-owned, Thelo DB delivers connectivity for Africa and its markets through a holistic, fully integrated railway model – to truly connect our continent for generations to come.

Service offering

Our aim

To unlock strong developmental returns to prepare rail for the future by providing lasting optimized infrastructure solutions and delivering operational efficiencies, that can directly address the rail infrastructure deficit and fuel the continent’s supply chains in order to enable inter- and intra-African trade and logistics.

Our vision

To stimulate investment and economic development through our integrated approach to railways in Africa, combining global experience with local capacity.

Our partnership with Deutsche Bahn E&C (DB)

DB is one of the largest fully integrated railway groups in the world – resulting in the appropriate expertise and proven capacity to develop complex projects of any size across the continent.

  • Understanding of the landscape

  • Trusted relationships

  • Innovation through authentic integrated expertise

  • We combine constant innovation built on integrated expertise, in-depth understanding of the landscape, and trusted relationships to deliver fit-for-Africa solutions.
  • We harness technology to leverage advances in logistics, including digitalization, to improve rail and advance sustainability, and support the development of both new corridors and existing networks.
  • We function as an arrowhead with our partners to help make national assets even more prized; to deliver strong financial, social and economic returns; to make rail reliable and consistent; and to open up opportunities for the local, continental and international suppliers and contractors that engage with us in our projects.

The value we offer

Developing and increasing trade efficiencies

Along every project route, Thelo DB always seeks to meet and exceed client expectations by assisting to increase trade efficiencies and freight.

Unlocking finance

By leveraging our direct and trusted relationships with financiers, we can catalyze capital mobilization for the growth and expansion of relevant networks, systems and operations.

Creating economic diversification

Through infrastructure investment and enhanced industrial processing as a result of more efficient railways, Thelo DB seeks to help accelerate the diversification of the host economy and reduce associated risks.

Prioritizing training, skills and job creation

Central to all Thelo DB projects is the emphasis placed on training and developing local people in railway disciplines, as well as actively promoting the participation of small and medium sized enterprises across the supply chain within multiple sectors.

Generating revenues

We also consistently seek to create additional revenues for our clients via downstream activities derived from efficient rail operations, and increased utilization of the rail network, port and logistics.

Focusing on sustainability

Critically, Thelo DB focuses on execution with a long-term project cycle in mind to efficiently deliver operations for the future.

Towards a fully integrated railway model

Efficient railway networks spur industrialization job creation, regional integration and economic development.

In most of Africa, railway freight currently serves predominantly to transport commodities from mines to ports, reflecting the economic structure of those regions.

There is wide recognition that the railway sector is a unique industrialization enabler for the continent, which requires sizeable re-investment in order to fill the backlog and meet ever growing demand.

Thelo DB’s integrated railway model reflects two sides of the same coin. On the one hand we are “Connecting Rail” – where we offer the full set of integrated specialisms to build and upgrade railways via a holistic 360-degree approach. On the other hand, we are “Connecting Africa” – where the reason we build and operationalize these assets is to unlock strategic benefits befitting Africa’s development.

Connecting Rail

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Connecting Africa

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Full value-chain expertise

Our full value-chain expertise enables us to integrate our capabilities into unique solutions that can serve both current and prospective railway infrastructure projects, developers, existing operators and freight owners.

We are able to deliver any railway project from concept all the way through to training and operations & maintenance management.


Feasibility, Design and Project Planning


Detailed Design and Procurement


Construction Supervision


Testing and Commissioning

Operations and Maintenance

O&M Concept, Business Plan

Operations and Maintenance

Mobilization and Ramp-up

Operations and Maintenance

Trail Operation

Operations and Maintenance

Operations and Maintenance Management

Our specialist capabilities

Our complementary specialist capabilities allow us to support both the development of new corridors and the enhancement of operational efficiencies of existing networks.

  • Rail Network Development

    Developing and improving new and existing railway systems, ranging from corridor development to integrating railway networks, to developing rail enhancements and upgrades – all bespoke

  • Engineering & Consulting

    Experienced bespoke solutions and thinking for more effective railways through authentic methodologies for optimizing railways and de-risking projects

  • Operations & Maintenance Management

    Helping to operationalize railways and move to full mobility, including rail management agreements, concession and Special Purpose Vehicle models

  • Rail Sector Reform & Regulatory

    Fostering innovation through input on policy by advising on integrating rail regulations into daily railway operations as well as on safety and economic and performance drivers

  • Skills Development, Capacity Building & Training

    Offering railway skills development and training services from idea to operation, to help develop the necessary skills and capacity to build local competency for the railways

  • Rail Sector Systems

    Harnessing innovative digital technologies for future-ready railway systems

Thelo DB methodology – the way we work

Design and

  • Intermodality & integrated solutions
  • Stations. depots & mobility hubs
  • Health, safety, quality & environment management
  • Regulatory bodies


  • Passenger railways
  • Freight railways
  • Domestic and cross-border connections
  • Infrastructure


  • Light maintenance
  • Heavy maintenance
  • Infrastructure
  • Rolling stock

Before each project stage:
Execute gate reviews

  • 1. Development
    • Planning
    • Demand Analysis
    • Basic Engineering Services
    • Technical Feasibility (BFS)
    • Financial Close
  • 2. Implemetation
    • Management
    • Design Review
    • Construction Supervision
    • System Integration
    • Testing & Commissioning (Infrastructure)
  • 3. Operations & maintenance management
    • Testing & Commissioning (Rolling Stock)
    • Operations and Maintenance Management
    • Shadow Operations
    • Early Train Operations
    • O&M Services

Connecting Africa

The effective integration of railways can deliver exponential benefits for the continent.

  • Enhancing the domestic and international market exchange of goods and inputs and thereby driving direct and beneficial impact on investment and productivity in critical industrial sectors such as minerals and metals, agriculture, energy, and domestic and international trade infrastructure
  • Delivering high-capacity freight corridors and networks to increase intra-African trade (and helping to accelerate the implementation of the AfCFTA)
  • Offering a more environmentally friendly mode of transport that is also more socially inclusive and enhances the connectivity and mobility of people and goods sustainably
  • Helping to drive job-creation and skills development for local capacity
  • Evolving Africa’s railways to take its place as an integrated transport product, where it is a key component of the logistics and supply-chain conversation.

Connecting Rail

Our integrated model also allows us to provide an end-to-end solution and manage any railway project 360-degrees, including the operationalization thereof, through its various stages and with its diverse stakeholders.

We deliver the integrated expertise to build bespoke solutions from and across concept through to design and engineering; financing; procurement; testing and commissioning, operations and maintenance management.

We have the experience, capability and capacity to implement freight and/or passenger railway projects of any scale and magnitude.

Passenger rail transportation

Urban passenger rail

Regional & long-distance passenger rail

Freight rail

Freight rail


Track & network

Signalling & telecommunication

Depots/stations & civil structures

Energy & power