The East African Community (EAC) suffers from a critical lack of cross-border railway networks that, if remedied, could improve regional connectivity and boost intraregional trade. The region would also become more investor friendly. Cross-border railway connectivity is particularly important owing to the challenging geographical location and small, uncompetitive and inefficient Partner States. The EAC Partner States have embarked on an ambitious programme to jointly revamp the region’s railways to address the transport deficits. Joint implementation of transport infrastructure projects offers economies of scale. However, joint efforts are constrained by inefficiencies of the region’s legal and institutional frameworks. The region is characterised by inefficient legal and institutional frameworks. This research argues that it is critical to first address the legal and institutional bottlenecks which will in turn constitute the backbone to support EAC’s efforts towards development and sustainable management of cross-border railways in the EAC. The research reviews effectiveness of the existing legal and institutional frameworks, identifies gaps and, using Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a benchmark proposes solutions for improvement.