The International Steam Pages

The Railways of Mali and Senegal, 2007

Thomas Kautzor reports on his visit between 1st and 6th December 2007. There is a 2010 update of this report available.

Mali Ministry of Transport (Passenger operations):

Operations were as reported in Continental Railway Journal 150, p. 196. However, the two ex-Argentinean EMD GT22CU-2 diesels rebuilt at TRACFER S.A. in 2006 and owned by the Ministry of Transport have now taken over passenger trains from Transrail locomotives, still driven by Transrail crews. They are identified (but not numbered) as X I and X II. The motive power and mainly regauged ex-SNCF rolling stock, which is now in very bad condition, for both the national and international passenger trains was to be replaced shortly by imports from India.

Already present was ex-India Railways YDM4 No. 6370 (Co-Co DE, DLW 142/1973-4) with plate “Refurbished at Central Workshops Goldenrock Indian Railways Oct. 2006” and a rake of ten 2nd class coaches with plates “Built at R.C.F. Kapurthala 2006”, all painted in dark and light blue, received in February of 2007. This set was inaugurated and put into service on December 10, 2007 on the national service between Bamako and Kayes. Also part of the set, a covered wagon has been fitted with central coupling on one side to make the transition between the Indian stock, using a central coupler, and the traditional double-buffered stock. This wagon was repainted in the national colors of green-gold-red, the same livery as the two Argentinean locos.

Reported having arrived from India at the port of Dakar and awaiting transfer to Mali were another four diesel locomotives (3 for Mali, one for Senegal) and 28 coaches, which will be used on the international service between Bamako and Dakar. The locomotives were said not to be of the YDM4 type, but brand-new ones equipped with 12 cylinder V-engines and an output of 2,300 h.p. Five out of the 28 coaches are 1st class air-conditioned.

Transrail S.A.:

The Bamako-Korofina workshops were visited on December 3, 2007, and the motive power situation was as follows (all ex-RCFM, except CC 2002 and CC 2477-CC 2489 which are ex-SNCS): 

BB 102

Alsthom 1939

derelict Korofina

BB 552

Alsthom 1956< > 

derelict Korofina

BB 877

Alsthom AD12B 1978

serviceable Korofina (works shunter)

BB 878

Alsthom AD12B 1984

derelict Korofina

BB 879

Alsthom AD12B 1984

derelict Korofina

CC 1671

EMD G22CU 712573/Feb. 1973

in train (works trains)

CC 1681

Henschel DE1650 32746/1983

derelict Korofina

CC 1682

Henschel DE1650 32747/1983

derelict Korofina

CC 1691

Alsthom AD20C 1986

awaiting repairs Korofina

CC 1692

Alsthom AD20C 1986

derelict Korofina

CC 2002

Alsthom AD20C 1987 (ex SNCS)

derelict Korofina (for parts)

CC 2281

EMD GL26C 828033-1/Apr. 1983


CC 2282

EMD GL26C 828033-2/Apr. 1983

under repair Korofina

CC 2283

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4687/Apr. 1987

serviceable Korofina

CC 2284

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4688/Apr. 1987

serviceable (derailed at Diamou)

CC 2285

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4689/Apr. 1987

in use

CC 2286

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4690/Apr. 1987

under repair Korofina (new prime mover)

CC 2287

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4691/Apr. 1987

in use

CC 2288

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4692/Apr. 1987

under repair Thiès (Sénégal)

CC 2289

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4693/Apr. 1987

in use

CC 2290

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4694/Apr. 1987

Thiès (Sénégal)

CC 2477

GMDL GT22LC-2 A3683/July 1979

in use

CC 2478

GMDL GT22LC-2 1981 (ex RAN ?)

in use

CC 2481

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4705/Apr. 1987

under repair Thiès (Sénégal)

CC 2482

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4706/Apr. 1987

in use

CC 2483

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4707/Apr. 1987

Thiès (Sénégal)

CC 2484

GMDL GT22LC-2 A4708/Apr. 1987

under repair Thiès (Sénégal)

CC 2485

GMDL GT22LC-2 958634.01/1996

in use

CC 2486

GMDL GT22LC-2 958634.02/1996

serviceable (derailed km. 238)

CC 2487

GMDL GT22LC-2 958634.03/1996

in use

CC 2488

GMDL GT22LC-2 958634.04/1996

leased to SEFICS (Sénégal) for phosphate trains

CC 2489

GMDL GT22LC-2 958634.05/1996

accident damaged Thiès

Units repainted in Transrail’s red livery include CC 2283/9 

Also still present at Korofina was the little Pinguely 0-6-0T (No. 143/1902, 15 t., ex C.F. du Morbihan No. 14).

The following inspection and maintenance railcars were present at Korofina:

SZ 006 / 6K 

Geismar VMT640SM 611/1991


SZ 1031 

Geismar VMT850GR 838/1999


under repair

MATISA R-7D No. 6304/1976 


Derelict at the former track maintenance yard located between Bamako station and the old disused running shed were the following maintenance and inspection railcars:

SZ 005



SOCOFER SCF105 382/1974


Geismar D721 260/1982

The following ex-SNCS units, taken over by Transrail S.A., were reportedly in Sénégal:

BB 41 

Fauvet-Girel 1986

awaiting repair (Dakar station pilot)

BB 506

Alsthom 1955

under repair

BB 508

Alsthom 1955


BB 1101

Alsthom AD12B 1959


BB 1107

Alsthom AD12B


BB 1108

Alsthom AD12B


BB 1111

Alsthom AD12B 1965

serviceable (Dakar station pilot)

BB 1201

Alsthom AD12B 1973


BB 1202

Alsthom AD12B 1973


BB 1205

Alsthom AD12B 1973


BB 1609

Alsthom AD16B 1987


CC 1701

Henschel DE1650 32743/1983 

see note

CC 1702

Henschel DE1650 32744/1983 

see note

ZE 142

MTM 1986 (B’2’-de railcar)

derelict Dakar

One of CC1701/2 was said to have been restored or being under restoration to be used for shunting duties at Dakar.

Petit Train de Banlieue (PTB), Dakar:

This company operates the suburban services between Dakar and Rufisque (Mo-Sa, 29 km, 13 pairs of trains), as well as a pair of trains from Thiaroye to Dakar (Mo-Sa, 15 km) and from Thiès to Dakar (daily, 70 km). Stock in use consisted of former SNCS class CC 1600 diesel locos (Bo’Bo’-de, Alsthom AD16B, 10 built in 1979/84/87), with rakes of regauged ex-SNCF centre-entrance ‘Bruhat’ coaches or more recent Pakistani coaches (Pakistani Railways Carriage Factory Islamabad 1991). However, these have also recently been replaced by stock from India, with at least five refurbished YDM4s (one with plate “Goldenrock Workshops Aug. 2006”) numbered in the CC 1500 series. The stock is liveried blue and grey.

In Dakar, all trains (including the international train to Bamako) now depart from Hann station at km 3, with the former station only used as a stabling point for rolling stock. This follows a decision by the Senegalese government to demolish this historic building to make way for new developments, and this decision has been opposed by the railway worker’s unions. At the moment, tickets for the international trains are still sold at the former station.

Rob Dickinson