- Trans-Gabon Railway
The Trans-Gabon Railway ( _fr. Transgabonais) is the only
railwayin Gabon. It runs 670 km east from Owendoport station in Librevilleto Francevillevia numerous stations, the main ones being Ndjolé, Lopé, Booué, Lastoursvilleand Moanda.
A railway was first planned in
1885. Investigations into the line were conducted in 1968, funding was agreed in 1973, and construction began the following year. The first section, from Owendo to Ndjolé, opened in 1978, with the remaining sections opening in stages until December 1986. Costs were well over budget and almost bankrupted the country.
The Trans-Gabon Railroad is overall adjacent the
Ogooue Riveruntil Ndjolé. Most important constructions are the Juckville Tunnel, the viaductover the Abanga swamp, and the bridge over the confluence between the Ogooue and the Ivindo Rivers.
The line to
Francevillewas completed in 1987. [ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3MKT/is_v95/ai_4594164 ]
Because the line was built well into the era of
earthmovingmachinery, the need to choose a narrow gauge to save costs was no longer important. However the choice of standard gaugetook advantage of off the shelfequipment.
List of Stations
The Trans-Gabon Railway, 669km, has 23 stations. There are consecutively:
Owendo, (Kilometre Point) KP 0, which is near Libreville
Ntoum, KP 35,
Andem, KP 57,
M'Bel, KP 85,
Oyam, KP 118,
Abanga, KP 148,
Ndjolé, KP 182,
Alembe, KP 202,
Otoumbi, KP 226,
Bissouna, KP 244,
Ayem, KP 267,
* Lopé, KP 290
Offoue, KP 312,
Booue, KP 338 - proposed junction to Belinga
Ivindo, KP 375
Mouyabi, KP 411
Milole, KP 448
Lastoursville, KP 484
Doume, KP 514
Lifouta, KP 549
Mboungou-Mbadouma, KP 584
Moanda, KP 619
Franceville, KP 669
Originally intended to reach
Makokouand carry iron ore, its route was changed for political reasons, namely to keep within national borders managanese ore traffic that went on the COMILOG Cablewayvia the Republic of Congo. When the railway reached the manganesemine at Moanda, the Cablewaywas closed.
The railway is also important for transporting
timberand uraniumin addition to being the only important public transportroute in the nation.
The railway was
privatisedin 1999. Plans regularly surface proposing an extension to Brazzavillein the Republic of the Congo. There would be a break-of-gaugeshould the Gabon (1435mm) and Congo (1067mm) systems ever meet.
* In 1996, the railway carried 3MT of freight and 190,000 passengers. [
Janes World Railways2002-2003 ]
* A new railway serving the iron ore deposits at
Belingamight carry 30MT of ore. Since this is ten times the traffic of the existing line, use of the existing line from the coast to the junction at Boouewould require total reconstruction of the existing line, which is more easily done if a new line or track is built roughly parallel to the existing line. Since the two lines are the same gauge, it would of course be desirable for the two lines to connect.
* The Trans-Gabon Railway is one of the few
Central African railways which was not built during the colonial period.
* The Trans-Gabon Railway crosses the
Ogooue Riverfive times, at Franceville, at Ndjolé, and three times around Booue.
* Passenger services on the line are restricted to only three journeys per week.
Hughessatellite based train control system installed. [ [http://www.hughes.com/HUGHES/Doc/0/517SIO0A4QFK32531JOAQDSI18/ChannelsFall04_LR.pdf untitled ] ]
June 2- New line for iron ore from Belingato port. Unclear if it will use part of existing line. Would be standard gauge. [ [http://www.terradaily.com/reports/China_given_monopoly_to_work_Gabons_untapped_iron_ore_resources.html China given monopoly to work Gabon's untapped iron ore resources ] ]
* Minko Monique. 1983. Les communications Terrestres. in "Geographie et Cartographie du Gabon, Atlas Illustré" led by The Ministère de l'Education Nationale de la Republique Gabonaise. Pg 86-87. Paris, France: Edicef
Transport in Gabon
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