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The Dakar–Niger Railway
Dakar–Niger Railway
connects Dakar, Senegal
Senegal
to Koulikoro, Mali. The name refers to the Niger River, not the Republic of Niger. It serves many cities in Senegal, including Thiès, and in Mali, including Kayes, Kita, Kati, Bamako. The line covers a course of 1,287 km of which 641 km lies in Mali. The line is managed by the Transrail consortium. As of 2013 passenger services in Mali
Mali
were only being offered three days between Bamako
Bamako
and Kayes
Kayes
via Kati and Diamou.[1] There were no international passenger trains in operation in 2014 but passenger services in Senegal
Senegal
existed between Dakar
Dakar
and Thiès.[2]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Construction 1.2 1947 strike 1.3 Post-independence operation 1.4 Accidents

2 Current status 3 Statistics 4 Technical 5 Branch lines 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] Construction[edit]

A train traveling along the railroad c. 1908

Construction work on the Dakar–Niger Railway
Dakar–Niger Railway
began at the end of the 19th century under the French general Gallieni, commander of French Sudan.

A French colonial railroad inspector and three unidentified men in 1904

The railroad connected the Niger River
Niger River
with the port of Dakar, allowing the transport of raw materials across the globe. The line was completed at the beginning of the 20th century, the Kayes-Koulikoro section being inaugurated in 1904. However,the final section of the line did not open until 1924. 1947 strike[edit] In 1947, the railroad workers went on a several-month strike to obtain the same rights as the French railwaymen. The successful strike was celebrated as a turning point in the anti-colonial struggle by Senegalese writer Ousmane Sembène in his 1960 novel, Les bouts de bois de Dieu. Post-independence operation[edit] With the independence of Mali
Mali
and Senegal, after the break-up of the Mali
Mali
Federation, control of the railroad was divided between two national organisations, the Régie des Chemin de fer du Mali
Mali
(RCFM) and the Régie des Chemins de Fer du Sénégal.[3] An agreement between Senegal
Senegal
and Mali
Mali
in 1962 determined the common exploitation of the line by the two railway companies. Accidents[edit] An accident, which happened on 13th of May 2009, killed five and injured thirty-seven, when a Dakar
Dakar
bound train came off the tracks between Bala and Goudiry
Goudiry
in Tambacounda
Tambacounda
Region, Senegal. Four carriages reportedly overturned, but no official cause has been determined.[4] Current status[edit]

Train station in Tambacounda, 2009

The Transrail Consortium
Consortium
was a Franco-Canadian management consortium which manages the interests of the Dakar–Niger Railway.[5] The difficulties of management and the lack of investment have led to a degradation of the infrastructure and rolling stock and numerous delays. In Senegal, the maximum speed of the trains, as in many places have been limited to 20 km/h due to the bad state of the tracks. In October 2003, Senegal
Senegal
and Mali
Mali
entrusted the management of the network to the Transrail consortium. In spite of Transrail's obligation to maintain a passenger service, Transrail intends to concentrate on the transport of goods. Many stations have been closed and the numbers of connections reduced, creating difficulties for isolated communities. Currently there are no passenger trains running between Kayes
Kayes
and Thies. Transrail was bought in 2007 by the Belgian company Vecturis.[6] The line has not operated since May 2010.[7] In 2015, the governments of Mali
Mali
and Senegal
Senegal
reached an agreement with China Railway Construction Corp (International) to restore the respective parts of the line. The concession to Transrail was terminated, and a new entity, Dakar
Dakar
Bamako Ferroviaire was to take its place.[8] Statistics[edit] "Tableau comparative des exportations par rail"[9] No sources are given for any of this data, which shows the number of tons of different products exported in various years:

Station of Kati

Product 1924 1934 1952-3 1955-6

Shelled peanuts - 7,422 7,250 -

Peanuts in shells 4,125 1,990 55,000 147,900

Gum arabic 936 1,196 1,000 1,500

Karité 416 2690 9,750 -

Animal skins 787 841 10,000 -

Cotton - 185 - 18,200

Millet 236 - - 850,000

1968[3]

Passengers 3,574,000

Freight (in tonnes) 1,548,000

Technical[edit]

Gauge: 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) Brakes: The railway uses vacuum brakes.[10] Couplers: Buffers and Chain, European.[11] - see loco CC2286. Highest point 1,515 feet (462 m) near Bamako.

Branch lines[edit] There are a number of branch lines including:

Saint-Louis Linguère Kaolack Mbaké

See also[edit]

Rail transport in Mali Rail transport in Senegal Railway stations in Mali Railway stations in Senegal Transport in Mali Transport in Senegal West Africa Regional Rail Integration

References[edit]

^ Mali, Seat 61, http://www.seat61.com/Senegal.htm#.U2JXgMfEc7A ^ DW, 'Dakar-Niger' – Slow death of a railway line, 18 April 2014, http://www.dw.de/dakar-niger-slow-death-of-a-railway-line/g-17578058 ^ a b Sampson 1972. ^ At least five die as train derails in Senegal. 14 May 2009. ^ Transrail ^ Transrail[permanent dead link] (in French) ^ "Le chemin de fer sénégalais" (in French). au-senegal.com. Retrieved 16 Jan 2014.  ^ Article in the Railway Gazette ^ Jean-Claude Faur: La mise en valeur ferroviaire de l'AOF (1880-1939). Paris: Université de Paris, 1969 (=Thesis) ^ http://www.derbysulzers.com/frenchwestafrica.html ^ espacetrain.com

Sampson, Henry (1972). Jane's World Railways: 1972–1973. Sampson Low, Marston & Co. ISBN 0-354-00107-8.  Sembène, Ousmane (1960). Les bouts de bois de Dieu. Plon. ISBN 0-435-90959-2. 

External links[edit]

The Railway line of Dakar-Niger by Christian Derosier (French language) A slow train through Senegal. Gavin Kallmann, The Financial Times (London). January 17, 2009. Unido Information and travel advice from seat61.com A report on the situation of the line at the end of 2010 by Thomas Kautzor

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