Dakar Regional Express Train (TER) is a railway line being built to connect Dakar city centre with Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD).

The project is a part of the economic development plan of Senegal and aims to offer services for the Dakar suburbs by replacing Petit Train de Banlieue (PTB).

The new line is being built by Engie and Thales for the Senegal Government’s investment promotion agency APIX.

Construction of Dakar TER commenced in December 2016 and the first section was completed in January 2019. The project is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Dakar Regional Express Train development details

Dakar TER is an ultra-modern transport system that will link Dakar with AIBD in 45 minutes through a 55km-long track passing through 14 stations.

The project is being implemented in two phases, with phase one involving the upgrade of the 36km-long existing infrastructure between Dakar and Diamniadio stations.

Phase two involves the construction of a 19km-long railway line between Diamniadio station and the AIBD. The new line is expected to transport approximately 115,000 passengers a day when it becomes fully operational.

It will also replace the existing rail facilities and will have provision for the installation of four future tracks. An electrified double-track with standard gauge for passengers and a metric track for freight will also be built. The project will also include the construction of a maintenance and service track, which can be converted into a fourth track in the future.

Stations on the Dakar Regional Express Train lane

The Dakar Regional Express Train line will be served by 14 stations and two maintenance sites, including an infrastructure maintenance site in Rufisque and a train maintenance site in Colobane.

Multi-modal stations at Dakar Plateau and Rufisque will be renovated and a new multi-modal station will be built in Diamniadio. The project will also involve the construction of Thiaroye and Bargny stations.

New stations will be built at Colobane, Hann, Baux maraichers, Pikine, Yeumbeul, Keur-Massar, M’bao, and PNR. A new station will also be constructed at the AIBD with connections to the terminals through a tunnel.

Rolling stock for Dakar TER

Dakar Regional Express Train will employ 15 Alstom Coradia Polyvalent trains being delivered by Alstom between 2018 and 2019. The Coradia Polyvalent is a mainline dual-mode train intended for both diesel and electric (25kV) operations.

“Dakar TER’s line will be installed with the Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway (GSM-R) to ensure safe communications between drivers and signallers.”

The 72m-long Coradia Polyvalent train features four cars and has the capacity to accommodate up to 531 passengers across its first and second class layouts. Trains will operate with a headway time of six to eight minutes.

Trains will run at a speed of 160km/h and will be equipped with an efficient air conditioning system in accordance with the climatic and environmental conditions of the country. The low floor will ensure easy access and on-board movement for people with limited mobility.

Signalling and communications

The project also involves the installation of technical systems, including European Train Control Systems (ETCS) Level 2, rail electrification systems, and associated signalling systems.

Dakar TER’s line will be installed with the Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway (GSM-R) to ensure safe communications between drivers and signallers. Other systems include fire detection, real-time passenger information systems on platforms and vehicles, and a comprehensive ticket system.

Stations and railway vehicles on the line will be installed with CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi connectivity will be provided to the passengers.

Financing

The Dakar TER project is estimated to attract an investment of €1bn ($1.14bn). The first phase of the project was funded by the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the French Agency for Development, the French Treasury, and the Government of Senegal.

Contractors involved

ENGIE Ineo and Thales received a €225m ($256.8m) design-build contract from APIX for the Dakar TER.

A €373.5m ($426m) contract for the construction of the Dakar TER was awarded by Senegalese Government to a consortium of Eiffage, Yapi Merkezi, and Compagnie Sahélienne d’Entreprise.

Alstom was awarded a contract by APIX for the supply of 15 Coradia Polyvalent trains, in December 2016.

Bolloré Logistics will carry out logistics operations of out-of-gauge packages and will also perform custom clearance formalities.

Terrasol received a subcontract from Eiffage to carry out geotechnical analysis of the foundations of the structures along the line.