Project Review: Dakar – Bamako Standard Gauge Railway


First phase of the Dakar- Bamako Railway Project entailing investment in new rail infrastructure (track and rolling stock) to upgrade existing network of the Senegal section of the 1,228 km railway between Dakar and the border with Mali is ongoing.

Project Description

This project covers the Senegal portion of the Dakar-Ndjamena-Djibouti Road/ Railway project. This is a multimodal transboundary transport corridor including Senegal, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti. It is a combination of the Trans-African Highway 5 (Dakar to N’djamena) and 6 (N’djamena to Djibouti), a combined distance covered of 8,715 km.

However over time, the railway transport route between Dakar and Bamako has become degraded and and created hindrances in the international services for passenger transportation.

In order to improve the competitiveness of the route, the two states financed a study in order to define the best way to finance or to participate in the funding of the Dakar- Bamako railway infrastructure upgrade.

The project will have the following components:

-Rehabilitation of the platform and reconstruction of the engineering works to 22.5 tons / axle;
-Railway rehabilitation (main roads and service roads)
-Implementation of a train cantonment system and a telecommunications system in line with UIC railway standards;
-Acquisition of rolling stock and railway equipment;
-Development and renovation of station facilities.

The Dakar-Bamako Rail Project has been prioritised by the Government of Senegal as the first of three phases of the Project. It entails the rehabilitation of the existing railway network between Dakar and Bamako (1,228 km), with a total project cost of US$ 2.2 billion.

Project Objectives and Benefits

The project aims to boost the national and international freight and passenger rail transport between Senegal, Mali and the sub-region. This will be done through the construction of a new SGR railway network linking Dakar- Tambacounda- Kedougou (in Senegal), Keniebu-Bamako-Bougouni-Sikasso (in Mali) and Ouagadougou (in Burkina Faso). Its success will improve the connectivity between the Dakar Port in Senegal and landlocked Mali, offering multi-modal transport options for transporters in the region, improving access to markets and thereby lowering overall transport cost.

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One thought on “Project Review: Dakar – Bamako Standard Gauge Railway

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