CAMEROON: A non-stop passenger service linking Yaoundé to Douala was introduced on May 5, three days after an inauguration ceremony led by Prime Minister Philémon Yang and Bolloré Africa Logistics CEO Dominique Lafont.

Bolloré’s railway concessionaire Camrail says the trains will offer ‘a level of comfort never previously available in the country’, providing an attractive travel option on a route where the ‘road death toll is one of the highest in the world’.

There are two ‘InterCity’-branded trains each way per day, leaving Douala at 06.00 and 14.45 and Yaoundé at 10.25 and 19.20. The 263 km journey takes 3 h 40 min, but there are plans to reduce this to 3 h. Fares are FrCFA9 000 in first class and FrCFA6 000 in premium class.

Camrail has ordered a total of 55 coaches from CSR Nanjing Puzhen. The InterCity trains comprise two first class air-conditioned cars with 64 seats and four ventilated premium cars with 88 seats. Last year six CC2500 diesel locomotives were supplied by National Railway Equipment Co.

At the launch ceremony the Prime Minister said the national five-year railway master plan with an estimated budget of FrCFA15 000bn would transform the metre-gauge network, starting with the modernisation of 175 km of track between Batchenga and Nkaa.