Rail transport in Guinea
Guinea has 1,086 km of railways. This includes 279 km at 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge and 807 km at 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge. The latter includes 662 km in common carrier service from Kankan to Conakry.
Currently operating in Guinea three different railway companies:
- Chemin de fer de Guinée (ONCFG),
- Chemins de fer de la Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée - Chemin de fer Conakry (CBG) and
- Chemin de fer de Boké.
The current status
The state owned railway line from Conakry to Kankan
In June 1959 was founded the state-owned railway company ONCFG (Office National des Chemins de Fer de Guinée). The property of the former French colonial Conakry-Niger rail authority has been transferred to it.
Into the following years all the rolling stock weren't maintained. Since 1993 with exception of fuel shipments to Mamou the rail traffic is suspended.
In 2010 the Brazilian company Vale began work on rebuilding the Conakry to Kankan railroad. As part of an agreement with the government of Guinea, Vale is investing to refurbish the railroad, which will transport passengers and general freight between capital city Conakry and Kankan in the east of the country. By rebuilding the railroad, Vale is contributing to the social and economic development of the African country, potentially creating thousands of jobs.
A major public transport development milestone was achieved in Guinea during June 2010 with the start of the Conakry Express. The Chinese International Funding (CIF) funded initiative has delivered a passenger rail transport system, The Conakry Express will hugely improve the movement of people through the 30 km long city.
Three railway lines are used to transport bauxite to the coast:
- In the 1970s opened a 136 km long standard gauge railway link from Kamsar to Boké and Sangarédi. The route is operated by the CBG mining company. CBG transports 12 millions t of bauxite and minerals annually.
- The narrow gauge railway line Conakry - Fria (called CFCF = Chemin de fer Conakry – Fria) have a length of 143 km and is operated by the Russian aluminum giant RusAl (in 2006 acquired from Friguia SA). The route was built in the 1960s and are in good condition. Between Fria and Conakry transported more than 1 million of goods (600.000 t aluminate, 200.000 t petroleum products and 100.000 t caustic soda).
- The standard gauge railway line Conakry - Kindia have length of 105 km and was built with help from USSR. The route is operated by the state owned mining company Societé des Bauxites de Kindia (SBK). The transport included the delivery of bauxite (annually 1,2 million t) from Kindia to Conakry harbour.
- Rio Tinto Limited plans to build a 650 km (400 mi) railway to transport iron ore from the Simandou mine to the coast, near Matakong, for export.
- There are at present no railway connections between Guinea and its neighbouring countries.
- "Conakry-Kankan Rail to be Renovated" Africa Mining Intelligence No. 174 27 February 2008
- "Never Was Heard A Discouraging Word" The Cortellazzi Consortium (blog) March 30, 2008
- "GUINEA: SIMANDOU PROJECT GAINS MOMENTUM". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-11-09.