SENEGAL: The first of 15 four-car Coradia Polyvalent electro-diesel multiple-units ordered for the Train Express Régional project in Dakar is now on test at Alstom’s plant at Reichshoffen in France.

The Train Express Régional will link the centre of Dakar with the new Blaise Diagne international airport in Diass, serving 14 stations on a 55 km route with a journey time of 45 min. Ridership is estimated at 115 000 passengers/day.

‘This test run is a significant milestone for Alstom and for the project’, said Didier Pfleger, Alstom’s Senior Vice-President for Middle East & Africa, on May 2. ‘We are proud to conduct the tests in order to guarantee not only the smooth running of the trains but also the control of all norms to guarantee maximum safety for both [public works agency] APIX and its passengers.’

Similar to units supplied to France and Algeria, the Coradia Polyvalent trainsets will be capable of running at up to 160 km/h. Each four-car set will be 72 m long, with a capacity of 400 passengers in two classes, low floor entrances and ‘highly efficient’ air-conditioning to suit the local climate.

The units are being manufactured and tested in Reichshoffen, with Saint-Ouen undertaking design work, Le Creusot sup-plying the bogies, Ornans the motors and alternators, Tarbes the traction system and Villeurbanne on-board IT and passenger information systems.