Progress for US$1.5 billion Ivory Coast rail project

By Andy Brown06 January 2020

The Ivorian authorities in charge of a US$1.5 billion rail project, coordinated by the Minister of Transport, have signed an addendum approving the technical and financial offer submitted by the Abidjan rail transport company Société des Transports Abidjanais sur Rail.

The addendum was signed in the presence of Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic.

This addendum confirms the route of the future Line 1 of the Abidjan metro network. It is 37km long and follows a natural corridor serving 18 stations from the north to the south of the Ivorian capital of Abidjan.

Building this overground metro will require the construction of 24 bridges, one viaduct over a lagoon, 34 pedestrian footbridges and eight underpasses.

The chosen trains, Alstom Metropolis, are equipped with a next-generation CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) system. This technology is said to facilitate improved train regularity and safety.

The cost of construction work for the metro is €1.36 billion (US$1.52 billion).

The project will be carried out by a consortium of French companies including Bouygues Travaux Publics, Colas Rail and Alstom. The construction phase of Line 1 of the Abidjan Metro - which will begin with excavation work - could start at the end of 2020.

The effective start date of the works and contract acceptance are subject to the fulfilment of two conditions: the Ivorian State making all the land available and the finalisation of financing for the project in conjunction with the French authorities.

Line 1 of the Abidjan Metro, which will be operated and maintained by the Keolis Group, has been called the most ambitious mass transit project in sub-Saharan Africa. When completed it will be capable of carrying 500,000 passengers per day.

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