The Government of Gabon and the Transgabonais Operating Company (SETRAG) have signed amendment No. 2 that relates to the second phase implementation of the Trans-Gabon Railway Upgrade Project or rather Program to Upgrade the Railway Line (PRN).
According to the General Directorate of SETRAG, this major agreement calls for the provision of a total of over US$ 217M of which the Gabonese government will provide approximately US$ 65M and SETRAG US$ 152m.
It complements the first amendment signed in 2015 for an amount of close to US$ 375M, where the Gabonese State and SETRAG provided US$ 110M and US$ 265M respectively. This made it possible for the start of the initial phase of the project that saw the rehabilitation of approximately 150km of track on the 670 km railway line network.
This phase, in particular, involved the replacement of old wooden sleepers that had a lifespan of 25 years with concrete sleepers that have a double lifespan i.e. 50 years.
Work to be carried out within the framework of the 2nd amendment
The work to be carried out within the framework of this amendment consists of the gradual replacement of the current 50kg/m railway line that is able to support 25 tonnes on the axle by that of 60kg/m that is able to support up to 29 tonnes. Several stations will also be modernized in this phase.
This work, which will eventually strengthen rail safety and increase freight transport capacities, is expected to be completed in 2024 putting an end to the entire Trans-Gabon Railway Upgrade Project.
Linking Franceville to Libreville, the Trans-Gabon Railway is the only railway line in the Central African country. It has been operational since 1986 and there are no links with any other state including the adjacent states of Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, or the Republic of the Congo.