Burkina Faso
2.4 Burkina Faso Railway Assessment


SITARAIL (subsidiary of Bolloré Group) is the railway company who operates the railway lines between Côte d'Ivoire to Burkina Faso. The line construction began in Abidjan in 1904 then achieved in Ouagadougou in 1954.

Bolloré Group declared 200,000 passengers and 900,000 MT of freight are transported each year however the recent Covid 19 pandemic has impacted the passenger traffic. The network is 1,260 km long, connects Abidjan to Ouagadougou with 59 stations. In Burkina, the network represents a total of 622 km:

  • 517 km currently operated between Côte d'Ivoire (Niangoloko) to Ouagadougou.
  • 105 km not operated between Ouagadougou to Kaya.

From Côte d’Ivoire, the transported products are hydrocarbons, containers, fertilizers and cement then cotton and local products constitute the main exportations to Abidjan. Since 2019, Bolloré Group has launched a vast investment program for the modernization of its maintenance workshops with the target to improve the quality of rail traffic. In addition, the company invested more than two billion FCFA in the acquisition of modern equipment for its locomotive and wagon maintenance between 2019-2020.

Since March 2020, the passengers traffic remains interrupted between Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire due to the Covid 19 pandemic. However, the Government announced last November 17th, 2021 the re-opening of the land and rail borders on December 1st, 2021.

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Government Contact List.

Travel Time Matrix

Travel Time from Capital City to Major Towns (hours)


Bobo Dioulasso



10 hours

72 hours

Bobo Dioulasso

10 hours

36 hours


72 hours

36 hours

Ouagadougou Railway station. Photo: WFP/NB

Bobo Dioulasso Railway station. Photo: WFP/NB

Railway Companies and Consortia

SITARAIL is a concession managed by Bolloré Railways which also operates Camrail (Cameron) and Benirail (Benin). All freight operations in Burkina Faso are managed by Sitarail and passenger traffic is managed by the STIB (Société de Transport Ivoiro-Burkinabé). However, since March 2020, the passengers traffic has been interrupted and the six weekly trains to Abidjan are not operating till further notice from the Ivory and Burkinabe government.

In addition, three consortiums (China Railway, African Global Development et Frontline Capital Advisors) have been selected to build a new railway network 1 102 km long to connect Ouagadougou to Téma port in Ghana with a project to be launched during the first quarter in 2022 (estimated cost is 4.7 billion Euros with a forecast of 2-3 million passengers and between 7-17 million tons per year)

For more information on railway company contact details, please see the following link: 4.9 Railway Companies Contact List.

Capacity Table

Rail Operator Capacity


Lines Operates On

Ouagadougou – Bobo Dioulasso - Abidjan

Max Train Length and / or Pulling Capacity

This depends on the type of locomotives:

  • Type CC33000: up to 1600 MT
  • Type CC22000: UP TO 1300MT
  • Type CC22200 (new) up to 1300 MT


A total of 28 locomotives are all diesel but only 25 are currently operational

Covered Freight Wagons Size (m)


Flatbed Freight Wagons Size (m)


Wagon type “tombereaux”


Tanker Wagons


Hopper – Clinker Wagons


Photo:  WFP/NB

Key Route Information

Standard Route Information

Abidjan → Ouagadougou

Abidjan → Bobo Dioulasso

Track Gauge

1 meter

Ruling Gradient

Minimum curve radius: 120 m, maximum gradient: 25%

Total Track Distance

1197 KM

818 KM

Type of Rail

The maximum axle load is 17 MT per axle

Type of Sleeper and Fastening

The rails are supported by concrete sleepers (no timber nor steel sleepers) The passing loops are modified to accommodate trains of up to 90 wagons.

Total Track Travel Time

72 hours

36 hours


Good marginal bad


Speed limited between 30 to 50 km/h and depending on the leg maintenance.


Speed limited between 30 to 50 km/h and depending on the leg maintenance.

Companies / Consortiums Operating on Line


Traffic Frequency

3 trains per day

2 trains per day




Main Stations

Bobo Dioulasso

Ferkéssedougou (Côte d’Ivoire)

Key Stations

Key Station Information


Bobo Dioulasso



Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Côte d'Ivoire

Contact Information

25 31 07 39

20 98 15 47

20 98 15 71

20 98 15 77

(+225) 27 20 20 80 00

Connections with Other Transport Means



Road & Port

Storage Capacity

(m2 and m3)

Existing warehouses are not utilized due to their bad conditions (old buildings which require refurbishment).


Handling Equipment

Cranes, forklifts, tractors, container handlers

Handling Capacity

3 x transshipment platform in Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso & Ferkéssedougou.

Other Comments

Currently, customs activities are performed directly next to the train upon arrival with the customers then they can collect their freight immediately if cleared.

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