National Company for Rail Transport

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National Rail Transportation Company
Native name
الشركة الوطنية للنّقل بالسّكك الحديدية
State-owned
IndustryRail transport
FoundedMarch 31, 1976
Headquarters,
Area served
Algeria, Tunisia , Morocco
ProductsRail transport, Cargo, transport, Service, more...
Revenue4.5 billion DZD
Number of employees
12933
SubsidiariesSTPE
STIM
Rail Express
RailLINK
STG
RailPUB
RailLOgistic
Rail Télecom
Safei
Restaurail
Infrarail
Rail Electr
Estel Rail
Websitesntf.dz
     National Rail Transportation Company
Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires
الشركة الوطنية للنّقل بالسّكك الحديدية
National Company for Rail Transport logo.svg
SNTF, votre partenaire idéal (French: SNTF, your ideal partner)
عنابة محطة قطارات عنابة.jpg
Annaba Gare
Track gauge
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge4,200 km (2,600 mi)
1,055 mm (3 ft 5 12 in)1,085 km (674 mi)
Electrification
MainVoltage ([clarification needed]) Overhead
Features
No. tunnels137
No. bridges7800
No. stations410

The National Rail Transportation Company (French: Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires, abbreviated SNTF; Arabic: الشركة الوطنية للنّقل بالسّكك الحديدية‎) — is Algeria's national railway operator. The SNTF, a state-owned company, currently has a monopoly over Algeria's network of 3,973 km (2,469 mi), although it is currently utilising only 3,572 km (2,220 mi). Out of the total railway network, 2,888 km (1,795 mi) are 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge (283 km or 176 mi of these are electrified) and 1,085 km (674 mi) are 1,055 mm (3 ft 5 12 in) narrow gauge (as of 2008).[1][2]

History[edit]

The beginnings[edit]

Skikda Station (20th century)
People gather in front of Guelma train station (19th century postcard)

The history of the railway in Algeria began with the colonization of the country by France. On April 8, 1857, a decree ordered the creation of 1,357 km (843 mi) of railways, beginning with the construction of a standard gauge line from Algiers to Blida, which started on December 12, 1859. The private Compagnie des chemins de fer algériens started working on the line with the help of the French army on July 11, 1860. At the same time, the company obtained permission to create an Oran-Sig line and a Constantine-Skikda line, however due to economic difficulties, only the Algiers-Blida line was finished, and it was subsequently opened to the public on September 8, 1862. Afterwards, 5 other companies started the construction of new lines, these are:

  • La Compagnie Bône - Guelma (BG)
  • La Compagnie de l'Est Algérien (EA) (Eastern Algeria)
  • La Compagnie Paris - Lyon - Méditerranée (PLM)
  • La Compagnie de l'Ouest Algérien (OA) (Western Algeria)
  • La Compagnie Franco - Algérienne (FA)

From 1857-1878, the following lines (or parts of them) were finished, totalling 1,365 km (848 mi), which exceeded initial expectations:

Nationalization[edit]

Mohammedia's train station (20th century)
Ouenza's station, primarily for ore from the Société de l'Ouenza iron mines

After 1879, France divided the railway lines being built into categories of local interest or of general interest, with only the latter being eligible to receive state funding. The July 18, 1879 decree defined the extent of some "general interest" lines and ordered the construction of a further 1,747 km (1,086 mi) of railways to expand the existing network. From 1879-1906, the following lines (or parts of them) were finished, totalling 2,035 km (1,264 mi):

In 1946, Algeria's total railway network contained a total of 5,014 km (3,116 mi) of active lines, in addition to mine lines, significantly more than the current network. After a while, the private companies were unable to maintain economic stability, which led the French government to buy the Franco - Algérienne, Est Algérien, Bône-Guelma and Ouest Algérien in 1900, 1908, 1905 et 1920 respectively. On September 27, 1912, the state-owned Compagnie des Chemins de Fer Algériens de l'Etat (CFAE) assumed control of all lines, except those owned by the Compagnie Paris - Lyon - Méditerranée. On July 1, 1921, the CFAE and PLM agreed to share the Algerian railway network with the PLM operating the Algiers-Oran, Oran-Aïn Témouchent, Sidi Bel Abbès-Tlemcen-Oujda-Crampel, Blida-Hassi Bahbah lines (effectively Western Algeria) while the CFAE operated the rest.

On May 30, 1938, both companies were incorporated into the newly founded SNCF, which operated all of France's railway network, with the Algerian network becoming a région. On January 1, 1939, the Office des Chemins de fer Algériens (Office CFA) was created, focusing on the Algerian network.

On June 30, 1959, an agreement was made between the French government and the OCFA, and on January 1, 1960 the Société des Chemins de Fer Français en Algérie was created as a result. This new company operated Algeria's railways until its replacement by the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Algériens (SNCFA) on June 16, 1963, a year after Algeria's independence.

Post-Independence[edit]

Train station Gare d’Agha at Algiers

On March 30 1976, the SNCFA split into the following companies:

  • SNTF, for the operation and maintenance of the lines;
  • SNERIF, for the renewal and extension of the network;
  • SIF, for the engineering and modernization of the infrastructure.

This reorganization was to improve the railway network and services in Algeria, however it proved unsuccessful and the two latter companies were reintegrated into the SNTF. In 1980, a convention for the relations between the Algerian state and the SNTF was signed, officially called decree N° 88-128 of June 28, 1988. This convention is still in effect and regulates the salaries of the workers and the maintenance of the infrastructure, and bears similarities with the June 1959 convention. In December 1990, the SNTF became an EPIC.

Recent investments[edit]

Large investment programs were launched after 1980 to improve the Algerian railway network, such as the construction of the Jijel-Ramdane-Djamel line (140 km or 87 mi), the Béni Saf area railway, providing transportation for its cement plant (23 km or 14 mi), and in the Saïda (23 km) and Aïn Touta area (15 km or 9.3 mi).

In addition to that, about 1,400 km (870 mi) of track were replaced, both the track ballast and the railroad ties, as well as the doubling of the tracks of the Rocade Nord in Algiers (about 200 km or 120 mi). Many train stations all over the country were modernized or even reconstructed, and there were also many improvements to the railway in the vincities of Algiers and Annaba.

A new, separate organisation, Anesrif, has been created to manage infrastructure investment whilst SNTF concentrates on day-to-day operations. Anesrif has awarded a series of contracts to build new infrastructure and upgrade existing lines, including the construction of a single-track line from Relizane to Tiaret and Tissemsilt, forming part of the High Plateau line.[3]

Rolling stock[edit]

As of 2017 SNTF's rolling stock inventory consisted of:

Railway links to adjacent countries[edit]

1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge links were built to both Morocco and Tunisia. However, the land border with Morocco has since been closed.

Affiliations[edit]

The SNTF is a member of the following organizations:

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Transport in Algeria". CIA. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
  2. ^ "SNTF website". SNTF. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  3. ^ "High Plateau railway construction contract". Railway Gazette. 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-10.

External links[edit]