Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images


Le Petit Train de Banlieue (PTB) operate the only passenger services in Senegal and since 2012 they have been operating to pretty much the same suburban timetable; they only generally run commuter services but at certain times of the year they operate further afield when mass movement of people is required. Security staff are at all stations and travel with all trains. Even trains that are full and standing aren’t any bother and the people using the trains were friendly and accommodating. Unfortunately the seating on the PTB services is only 1 plus 1 and has been designed around more standing space than sitting space.

Photos of the original PTB timetables, from the station manager’s wall at Dakar Cyrnos station are below:


Below is the current timetable operated as of June 2016:


During Ramadan the evening outbound trains from Dakar Cyrnos run to an amended timetable but the rest of the service is unaltered; the Ramadan 2016 (commencing 7th June) is shown below:


Magal de Touba is a Muslim festival that occurs once a year, when approx 2 million people descend on Touba; this was in November during 2015 and the timetable posted is shown below:


Maouloud is also celebrated every year around a Muslim calendar and is done so in Senegal in Tivaouane; this was on 24th December 2015 and the timetable for special trains is shown below:


Train tickets for PTB’s trains are bought per journey from the ticket offices at stations; which are generally converted freight box wagons! Tickets are checked on every train, pretty ruthlessly, and everyone always has a ticket. Example tickets fares are:

Dakar- Thiaroye 150 FCAF (general class), 500 FCAF (on the Thies autorail service)

Dakar – Rufisque 200 FCAF (general class)

Dakar – Thies 1250 FCAF (premier class, which is air conditioned)


PTB Train Tickets look like the below examples:


The current status of PTB’s locomotive fleet is as follows:

Ex-Indian Railways YDM4’s

CC1501 (Ex IR 6600) – demic at Cyrnos waiting a crankshaft

CC1502 (Ex IR 6469) – demic at Cyrnos waiting a crankshaft

CC1503 (Ex IR 6588) – in service

CC1504 (Ex IR 6496) – in service

CC1505 (Ex IR 6522) – in bits at Thiés waiting a new crankshaft


YDM4 Photos (excluding CC1505)


DLW built 12 cylinder Alco

CC2301 (September 2007) – in service


DLW CC2301 Photo (other examples are in Mali, Mozambique and Angola)



Power Car 112 looks demic at Cyrnos with only 6 of the 10 power cars seeming to be in service


DMU Photo (Built in India)


Train Working Summary (as at June 2016)

Only three locos serviceable for three loco-hauled turns – 1503, 1504 & 2301

Only three DMU’s appeared serviceable, with technically three required daily but the Thiés train only seems to run with one during the week. CC2301 and stock are sometimes substituted on a Friday evening and Monday morning if not enough DMU’s in service as extra capacity is generally required out on a Friday and back on a Sunday.

Rumour has it that a new project is ongoing to upgrade the PTB services and if Wikipedia is to be believed the line to Rufisque is to be electrified and a new extension to Dakar Airport is to be built…….

Railway Photography

Senegal June 2016 (YDM4’s a world away from home)

A trip to Africa had been long overdue since my last jaunt to Malawi & Mozambique in 2012. Both Senegal & Cameroon had been on the horizon for a while but with Senegal having a spate of not running trains in Dakar at all planning this trip was somewhat delayed, by about 3 years, and Read the Rest…