Rail transport in Senegal

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Rail transport in Senegal
Dakar railway station 1991.jpg
Trains at Dakar railway station, Senegal, in 1991
Infrastructure company Transrail
Major operators Transrail
System length
Total 906 km (563 mi)
Track gauge
Main 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Senegal railways.svg

Senegal has 906 km of railway at 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) gauge. This is part of the Dakar–Niger Railway which crosses the border to Mali. The railway is operated by Transrail, managed by the Belgian company Vecturis.[1]


Senegal was formerly part of the federation of French West Africa so the history of its railways is closely linked to that of its neighbours.

Dakar–Saint-Louis railway[edit]

This was the first railway line in French West Africa when it opened in 1885. It is now out of service.

Dakar–Niger Railway[edit]

Main article: Dakar–Niger Railway

Construction work on the Dakar–Niger Railway began at the end of the 19th century. The line was completed at the beginning of the 20th century.

Petit train de banlieue[edit]

The Petit train de banlieue (PTB) is a passenger train providing regular commuter services between Dakar railway station and Thiès, via Thiaroye and Rufisque. It was inaugurated in December 1987.

Train Express Regional[edit]

This line is under construction in 2016 and will link Dakar with the new international airport.

Developments since 2000[edit]

A gauge conversion from 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) was planned.[2][3]

In August 2006 RITES of India was to supply 5 metre-gauge locomotives, with vacuum brakes converted to air brakes.[citation needed]

In October 2007 70 air braked coaches were ordered from Rail Coach Factory in India.[4] A 750 kilometres (470 mi) rail line was planned to Faleme River region of South East Senegal for iron ore traffic.[5]

In 2010, the Faleme project has been delayed by disputes between the leaseholders.[citation needed] In the meantime, the Dakar-Port Sudan Railway project surfaced.

A goods railway was constructed from Thies to a mineral sand mine situated to the west. The track from Thies to Dakar was refurbished, and several trains a week now operate to Dakar port.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cloutier, Myriam (20 May 2009). "The Little Engine That Couldn't". Alternatives. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Senegal Railways "Senegal Railways" Check |url= value (help). International Railway Journal. December 2000. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Les Grands Projets". APIX. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Rail Coach Factory "RCF Rolls out 17 Meter Gauge Coaches to Senegal/Mali" Check |url= value (help). Rail Coach Factory. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Steve McGrath and Jackie Range (23 February 2007). "Arcelor Mittal to develop Senegal iron-ore mine". Marketwatch. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 

External links[edit]