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Railway Overview

The Cameroon rail system plays an important part in domestic freight transport. It is also the main link with the northern half of the country, Chad and the Central African Republic.

In 1999, under a 20-year convention, a joint-venture between the French group Bolloré and COMAZAR of South Africa took over the management of the national railway corporation: CAMRAIL. 

5 news locomotives were commissioned in March 2019 and 25 passenger cars are in the pipeline.

A total of 691,000 customers used CAMRAIL in 2018 (there were 1.1 million in 2016). CAMRAIL transported in total 1,396,000 mt of goods in 2018, import and exports goods collectively.

In 2019 there is 1 daily rotation Douala-Yaoundé-Douala, and 2 Yaoundé-N’Gaoundere.

Railway Overview

Track gauge

Narrow gauge

Total track distance

1,100 km

Port to final point in or close to country (rail)

N’gaoundere

Locomotives

29

Freight wagons

1,078

Upward Cargo (from Douala to the north of the country and Chad):

  • Oil products
  • Fertilizers
  • Food products

Downward Cargo (from Northern Cameroon and Chad to Douala)

  • Timber                                 
  • Cotton

Timber (in logs or worked) from CAR and Congo represents 80% of the cargo. The loading location of this cargo is Bélabo.

The capacity of CAMRAIL connecting Douala to Ngaoundéré is limited despite the buying of additional wagons.

According to SAGA transport report the commercial deliveries to Chad are increasing by 10 % annually.

It is considered that 80% of the cargo transported for humanitarian agencies by rail is destined to Abeche.

Railway Companies and Consortia

Website: CAMRAIL

P.O. Box: 766 Douala, Cameroon

Headquarters (Douala)

Tel.: +237 233 40 60 45

                 233 40 49 40

                 233 40 99 65

                 233 40 91 13

                 696 90 16 60

                 696 90 16 61

                 233 40 10 05

Yaoundé Railways station

Tel.: +237 222 23 40 03

                 222 22 13 05

                 222 22 81 06

                 222 22 81 07

                 222 23 49 86

Bélabo Railways station

Tel.: +237 222 22 13 09

                 222 22 13 15

Ngaoundéré Railways station

Tel.: +237 222 25 12 32

                 222 25 13 84

                 222 25 10 98

For more information on government and railway companies contact details, please see the following links: 

4.1 Cameroon Government Contact List

4.9 Cameroon Railway Companies Contact List

Key Stations/Dry Ports

CAMRAIL operates over 1,100 km of rail track track. The entire network is connected to the Port of Douala. 

  • Douala-Yaoundé, Central line: 258 km. This is the main line of CAMRAIL.
  • Yaoundé-Ngaoundéré, Northern line: 626 km
  • Otélé-Mbalmayo Line: 53 km; Traffic suspended.
  • Douala-Mbanga-Nkongsamba, Westen Line (172 km). Currently, only Douala - Mbanga is sometimes in service with very little traffic.
  • Mbanga-Kumba line (29 km). Due to the current situation in South-West, the line has been suspended for 2018-2019.

Bélabo railway station in the East region is the logistical hub and dry port mainly for timbers and other traffic from Eastern Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Northern Congo. 

Logistics infrastructure includes warehouses (6,500m2) and open yards for the storage of timbers. There is also a container yard. The Douala – Belabo railway line exists and functioned as a transhipment point. 

Ngaoundéré railway station is the logistical hub and dry port for containers and bulk destined to Northern Cameroon and Chad. Ngaoundéré is the final railway station network for the traffic coming from the port of Douala via Yaoundé.

There is an important traffic of cargo from the port of Douala to Northern Cameroon and Chad. Considering the fact that a large part of this traffic is transported by wagons, the government has developed logistical infrastructures in Ngaoundéré in order to facilitate the storage and transhipment from rail to road.

As is the case within the port of Douala, logistics infrastructure in Ngaoundéré is mainly owned by SDV-SAGA (Bolloré group.) This includes:

  • 12,500 m2 of covered warehouses split into 6 warehouses. One of these premises is dedicated to WFP cargo only (2500 m2).
  • 30,000 mof open yard, including a containers’ yard with a capacity of about 300 TEUs.

It is also worth mentioning that there are about 5,540 m3 of fuel storage facilities around the railways station.

The security of the warehouses, especially of the containers yard, is ensured by a private security company.

Rolling stock and motive power of CAMRAIL

The rolling stock park for goods cargo in 2019 is 1,078 wagons of different types:

  • Platforms: 451
  • Covered: 213
  • Low sides: 89
  • Tanks: 254
  • Dumper: 51
  • Maintenance trailer: 20

The platforms are intended to transport logs. Most of the platforms are equipped with locks that allow container transport. In the last years the availability of wagons has been around 80%.

The park of main line locomotives is currently composed of 29 locomotives.