Dakar–Niger Railway connects Dakar,
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 were only being offered three
Kati and Diamou. There were no
international passenger trains in operation in 2014 but passenger
Senegal existed between
Dakar and Thiès.
1.2 1947 strike
1.3 Post-independence operation
2 Current status
5 Branch lines
6 See also
8 External links
A train traveling along the railroad c. 1908
Construction work on the
Dakar–Niger Railway began at the end of the
19th century under the French general Gallieni, commander of French
A French colonial railroad inspector and three unidentified men in
The railroad connected the
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.
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
Ousmane Sembène in his 1960 novel, Les bouts de
bois de Dieu.
With the independence of
Mali and Senegal, after the break-up of the
Mali Federation, control of the railroad was divided between two
national organisations, the Régie des Chemin de fer du
and the Régie des Chemins de Fer du Sénégal.
An agreement between
Mali in 1962 determined the common
exploitation of the line by the two railway companies.
An accident, which happened on 13th of May 2009, killed five and
injured thirty-seven, when a
Dakar bound train came off the tracks
between Bala and
Tambacounda Region, Senegal. Four
carriages reportedly overturned, but no official cause has been
Train station in Tambacounda, 2009
Consortium was a Franco-Canadian management consortium
which manages the interests of the Dakar–Niger Railway.
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,
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 and Thies.
Transrail was bought in 2007 by the Belgian company Vecturis. The
line has not operated since May 2010. In 2015, the governments of
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,
Ferroviaire was to take its place.
"Tableau comparative des exportations par rail" 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
Peanuts in shells
Freight (in tonnes)
Gauge: 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
Brakes: The railway uses vacuum brakes.
Couplers: Buffers and Chain, European. - see loco CC2286.
Highest point 1,515 feet (462 m) near Bamako.
There are a number of branch lines including:
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
^ Mali, Seat 61, http://www.seat61.com/Senegal.htm#.U2JXgMfEc7A
^ DW, 'Dakar-Niger' – Slow death of a railway line, 18 April 2014,
^ a b Sampson 1972.
^ At least five die as train derails in Senegal. 14 May 2009.
^ 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)
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.
The Railway line of Dakar-Niger by Christian Derosier (French
A slow train through Senegal. Gavin Kallmann, The Financial Times
(London). January 17, 2009.
Information and travel advice from seat61.com
A report on the situation of the line at the end of 2010 by Thomas
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