Rail transport in Benin

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Railways in Benin (interactive version)
existing 1000mm gauge, planned 1000mm gauge, dismantled 600mm gauge

Benin has a total of 578 km (359 mi) of single track, 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (metre gauge) railway. It does not, as of 2009, share railway links with adjacent countries. Niger possesses no railways to connect to and, while the other surrounding countries, Nigeria, Togo and Burkina Faso, do have railway networks, no connections have been built. In 2006, an Indian proposal appeared, which aims to link the railways of Benin with Niger and Burkina Faso.[1] Benin will be a participant in the AfricaRail project.


Locomotive at Ouidah railway station

The first railway in Benin was opened during the French colonial rule in 1906, between the port of Cotonou and Ouidah. It was constructed in 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge and was 47 km (29 mi) long. By 1936 the line was further extended to Parakou, totalling 437 km (272 mi) and became known as the Northern Line.

An eastern branch from Cotonou to Pobé was added (107 km (66 mi) ) as well as a western branch from Pahou on the Northern Line to Segboroué (33 kilometres (21 mi) ).[2]

Proposed extensions[edit]

Northern extension[edit]

It is 2005 it was proposed that Gaya, in Niger will be connected to the railway network of Benin with a planned completion in 2018.[2]

Connections with Burkina Faso and Togo[edit]

Further extension plans include connections to Burkina Faso and Togo.

Cities served by rail[edit]

Bohicon railway station

Cities of Benin currently served by the country's railways are:

Benin is a country that is bordered by Togo, Nigeria, and Niger.[2]



  • First section opened during time as French colony.


  • Opened fully[2]


  • Tourist railway project using two YP locomotives from India [3]



  • In 2015, rehabilitation and extension of the East-West (Blue) line started. [6]
  • In 2015, upgrade and extension of the North-South line to Niger started.


See also[edit]