SYSTRA plays major role in first trial run of Senegal’s regional express train, an unprecedented project in West Africa
On 14th January 2019, a trial run of Senegal’s regional express train took place at Dakar station.
SYSTRA, an engineering and consulting group specialising in mobility, has participated in the project since 2015 as project management assistant. This is an exceptional project for many reasons: the size, the speed of execution, the technical and socioeconomic challenges, and the innovative character.
Since 2015, SYSTRA has worked side by side with APIX, the national agency that promotes investment and major works in Senegal, to create the country’s first regional express train. Numerous technical challenges were involved in order to meet the needs of the region.
This train is a great success and the result of a joint effort between SYSTRA and Senegal, as Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal confirmed in his address: "Without the outstanding support of SYSTRA, we may not have been where we are today”.
This new regional express train will enable the growing passenger demand, set to increase to 150,000 per day, to be met. It will not only make it easier for the Dakar region’s inhabitants to get to work but also for passengers arriving at the International Blaise Diagne Airport. With a commercial speed of 160km/h, the line will reduce the travel time between the airport and Dakar to less than one hour. It will unblock the capital, which is greatly needed, by transporting six times as many passengers as the old suburban train.
To ensure this capacity, and the necessary reliability, Senegal has chosen 21st century technologies, constituting a first for Senegal and even for West Africa:
25,000 Volt electrification
International UIC standard track gauge (1,435 mm)
ERTMS radio-based and fibre optic signalling to facilitate interoperability
Electric and diesel dual-mode trains for greater flexibility
The new infrastructure will also increase safety for the entire population, with the removal of numerous level crossings, replaced by 18 bridges and 33 pedestrian bridges.
The project in a few figures:
- More than 8,000 people mobilised,
- 137km of track,
- 14 stations,
- 22 dual-mode trains,
- 51 large infrastructures,
- A 25MW substation