The International Steam Pages

Extant Steam in Cameroon, 2005 - 2011

This groups together the outdated information on steam survivors in the country which has been superceded by Thomas Kautzor's February 2012 visit.

Roland Beier passed on this delightful snippet (3rd May 2005). "Recently a German TV station ran a report on Cameroon which had once been a German protectorate. The report also showed a working steam loco. This had been found on a plantation railway at Tiko. The tiny 0-8-0 OK 7720/1914 is named GOUVERNEUR EBERMEIER and carries number 203. After two days of repairs a retired driver could steam the loco which had been out of use for a long time and moved it up and down around the shed. Track length is less than 100m as the rest of the system had been lifted years ago. Another O&K loco is said to be inside the shed as well. The report also stated that there are now plans to restore part of the line to attract tourists."

A visitor in November 2010 reports (23rd December 2010) "Limbe (formerly Victoria) once the centre of an extensive 600mm gauge plantation system, now a large prosperous looking town. Extensive trackwork remains in the dock area but no rolling stock was seen. Idenao - the centre of a 600mm gauge plantation system, now consists of a few wooden buildings clustered round the mouth of a small river. There is no dock as such, small boats are moored to the bank or pulled up on the mud. Track protrudes from a secure shed on the river bank which I was told was a customs shed. The mill stands a couple of km North of the river now a skeleton, empty except for a couple of industrial boilers. A few lengths of track are in situ in the long grass near the mill. The only substantial railway survivor is the two span bridge over the river, now used by pedestrians and the odd vehicle. The systems at Boa Balando, Mabeta and Tiko were not visited."

Thomas Kautzor adds (4th January 2011):

All this was part of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), ex-Westafrikanische Pflanzungsgesellschaft (WAPV) system, with the operational centre at Tiko, where 0-8-0T+T 203 "Gouverneur Ebermaier" (OK 7720/14) and her saloon coach survive. The last operational part of the system was at Soden Camp near Idenao, an isolated section (due to a destroyed river bridge) serving an area not accessible by road.

In January 2001, a number of steam and diesel locos survived in the area:

0-4-2PT 1 (Hunslet 3756/52) at Ekona banana plantation;
0-4-2PT 3 (Hunslet 3758/52) at Bota palm oil mill;
0-6-2T 200 (Jung 8370/38 ex AFC) at private Bakingili palm oil mill;
0-6-0T 202 (Jung 6224/35 ex AFC) plinthed at CDC Club, Tiko (still there 01/2004);
0-6-0T 930 (OK 13028/37 ex Likomba Bananen Ges.) at Tiko? (reported in 2005);
0-6-0T ??? (OK 13068/37 or 38) at Ekona Yard.

Some Ruston-Hornsby (mostly 48DL, some 30DL and 40DL) and Motor Rail diesels survived at a sawmill near Tiko, one Motor Rail was abandoned at Soden Camp, and there were two Wickham motor trolleys at Tiko.

Two CDC locos survive in the UK:

0-6-0T 201 (Jung 3872/31 ex AFC) at the Bredgar & Wormshill Lt. Ry. as No. 2 "Katie";
0-6-0T 932 (O&K 12740/36 ex Likomba Bananen Ges.) at the Leighton Buzzard N.G. Ry. as No. 5 "Elf".

Rob Dickinson