President Macky Sall on Monday afternoon took delivery of engines and coaches for the new Regional Express Train service (TER), which will link Dakar with Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD), a distance of 55 km (comprising 36 km of existing developed infrastructure and 19 km of new line).
Accompanied by members of the government and guests including AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, President Sall departed on the TER from Diamniadio Station to the renovated Dakar Station, where he cut the ribbon.
“With this ceremony, we are receiving the first phase of the TER and also the very first rail project in the history of independent Senegal, 136 years after the opening in 1883 of the Dakar-Rufisque section, which was part of the Dakar-Saint-Louis colonial-era rail project,” Sall said.
According to the Senegalese head of state, the project cost 656 billion CFA francs, financed with the support of three major partners namely, the African Development Bank (ADB) with 120 billion CFA francs, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) with 197 billion CFA francs, the French Development Bank (AFD), the French Treasury with 196.5 billion CFA francs and the state of Senegal with counterpart funds (142.5 billion CFA francs).
“This gives you 656 billion CFA francs, which represents the total financing of this first part of the TER,” Sall declared.
A total of 14 train stations, including Dakar, Rufisque, Diamniadio and AIBD will be served. Alstom is the designer of the 15 Coradia trains ordered by Senegal, and which will run on a 25 KV electrified line. According to the French company, the number of passengers should be 115,000 per day.
Operating at a speed of 160 km/h, the Coradia Multi-Purpose Train is a dual mode express train (diesel and electric 25 kV). With a total length of 72 metres, this four-car train can accommodate up to 531 passengers divided between first and second class.
According to Alstom, the trains were manufactured and validated at the Reichshoffen site. Five other sites in France are involved in the project namely, Saint-Ouen for the design, Le Creusot for the bogies, Ornans for the engines and alternators, Tarbes for the traction system and Villeurbanne for the embedded IT systems and passenger information.
Sall launched the TER project on December 14, 2016.