EYEAFRICA TV: Dakar, SENEGAL: The government of Senegal has secured a deal to introduce a 55 km Regional Express railway line that will link Dakar with the new airport starting next month.
The supply of 15 trains is expected to serve the increasing need for mobility in Dakar and will run on a new line connecting the centre of the city to the new Blaise Diagne International Airport.
“The railway line will cover 14 stations over 55 km, which they will cover in 45 minutes”, says Mountaga SY, Managing Director of APIX, the project contractor.
With a total of four units, each train is 72 metres long and capacity to carry 531, bringing the number of daily passengers up to 115,000.
“The Coradia Polyvalent for Senegal is a mainline dual-mode train (diesel and electric-25kV) capable of running at speeds of 160 km/h”, says Alstom Corang, the train manufacturing company in France.
Launching Of the Regional Express Line
It could be recalled that preparatory work for the construction of this regional express railway was launched by the Senegalese president, Macky Sall in December last year.
He expressed ambition to provide Senegal with a state-of-the-art transportation system through the railway project.
Blaise Diagne International Airport
Blaise Diagne International Airport is a new international airport in Ndiass village, approximately 50km south-east of Dakar.
The new airport is intended to replace the old Léopold SédarSenghor International Airport in Yoff town. Its distance from the capital has a direct bearing on the increasing need for mobility in Dakar, a booming city with an expected five million inhabitants by 2030.
Railway History In Senegal
The very first railway in Senegal was a metre gauge line opened in 1924 from Dakar to Kayes. Several branch lines were subsequently built, of which those to Saint-Louis and Mbakéremain, giving a present day network of about 900km.
In 2012, a project was announced to upgrade the 1286km railway from Dakar to Bamako in Mali, which would include conversion to standard gauge. By early 2016, framework agreements were in place for the work to be implemented by China Railway Construction Corp.