The 57km standard-gauge line from the city centre to the new Blaise Diagne International Airport (AIBD) near Ndiass will largely follow the western section of the existing Dakar - Diourbel metre-gauge line, which will be upgraded as part of the project.
The initial 36km section between Dakar and Diamniadio will take 26 months to complete. Design studies and preliminary works are now underway and commissioning is scheduled for late 2018. The remainder of the line to AIBD will take 15 months to construct.
The Senegalese Agency for Investment Promotion and Public Works (Apix) awarded a French consortium of Engie and Thales €225m contract to design and build infrastructure and systems for the project earlier this year. The €500m civil works contract has been awarded to a consortium of CSE, Sengal; Yapi Merkezi, Turkey; and Eiffage, France.
The line will be designed for 160km/h operation with 25kV ac electrification and GSM-R. The journey time between the two terminus stations will be 46 minutes and the line will serve 12 intermediate stations, which will be equipped with Wi-Fi, real-time passenger information systems and CCTV. Daily ridership is forecast to be around 115,000 passengers.
TER services will be operated by a fleet of 15 Alstom Coradia Polyvalent dual-mode multiple units. Each 72m-long four-car train will accommodate up to 400 passengers in first and second class. The trains will be assembled at Alstom's Reichshoffen plant and production will begin next year.