Technical details
GSEZ Gabon Spécial Economic Zone Mineral Port S.A


Identify pathways to improve GSEZ capacity expansion
Study, Operations, Civil Engineering

GSEZ has established themselves as one of the prime providers of logistics services to the local economy in Gabon. A significant and growing aspect of the company is the provision of transport services over the Transgabonais Railway which is managed and operated by SETRAG (la Société d’exploitation du Transgabonais).

Although a basic freight and passenger service is operated by SETRAG, GSEZ have invested in locomotives and rolling stock to provide transport services to other mining companies in the country. GSEZ have also invested in port and terminal facilities in Owendo to receive mineral trains and tranship ore to ocean vessels.

GSEZ would like to expand the rail transport services that they offer to encourage private-sector investment in production industries to the overall benefit of the Gabonese economy. However, as their commitment of capital to this enterprise increases, so does their focus on achieving efficiency of operations.

Therefore, the objective of GSEZ in undertaking this study is to identify opportunities for improving the capacity and efficiency of railway operations on the Transgabonais Railway. Although designated as a “capacity” study, its character is also very much a diagnostic of railway operations.

To gain a proper understanding of the existing constraints, the first phase of the study will consist of gathering the data required to assess train operations and develop a dynamic simulation model. SYSTRA Canada’s experts will visit Gabon to understand GSEZ’s transport objectives and current railway operating plans. They will also make a site visit to inspect track, bridge structures, rolling stock and observe day-to-day operations of the railway.

The approach proposed by SYSTRA Canada focuses on the elements that have an impact on the reliability, the functionality, and the efficiency of the railway system and to simulate the impact that they can have on overall efficiency with the use of a dynamic simulation model.

The site visits will focus on issues that have impacts on the typical railway operational KPIs and identifying the challenges that exist on the Transgabonais Railway:


  • Review of operational statistics and other relevant data;
  • Identification of major constraints as perceived by SETRAG;
  • Review of train control procedures for the movement and meeting of trains;
  • Follow-up in the field regarding specific instances leading to train delays;
  • Review train running times (although lower speeds and traffic interruptions are often due to track or rolling stock causes);
  • Review condition and reliability of the signalling & communications system; and
  • Review operations at loading terminals and port facilities.


  • Review of infrastructure-related statistics (speed restrictions, derailments) and other relevant data;
  • Survey condition of the track structure, particularly areas that SETRAG has identified as problematic;
  • Review track inspection and maintenance procedures and the condition of the track maintenance equipment available;
  • Review annual expenditures for track maintenance materials and consider whether it is sufficient for current traffic levels.

Rolling Stock

  • Familiarization with the current SETRAG and GSEZ fleet (e.g. locomotive power, wagon and locomotive length, tare and gross weights);
  • Fleet performance data (availability, reliability, utilization, etc.);
  • Visit workshops to observe condition and availability of equipment, tools, and cranes to perform both light and heavy maintenance tasks;
  • Review spare parts levels and re-order criteria to ensure a steady supply to ensure their availability when required, particularly for routine maintenance tasks.