While freight service was relaunched in 2020 following the easing of anti-Covid-19 restrictions, passenger transport has long been delayed.
SITARAIL, concessionaire of the Ouagadougou-Abidjan railroad, will resume passenger transport between the two cities on November 17, after a 3-year suspension of service. Connections will be operated with one trainset per week, comprising two cars (192 seats) and collector vans.
The operator's announcement comes shortly after a summons from the government, which criticized the reasons given by the company for suspending service, such as "the current security situation in Burkina Faso, the serious deterioration of rail infrastructure, and the absence of formal authorization from the Ivorian authorities".
In a letter dated November 7, the Ministry of Transport stated that a national counter-terrorism strategy was being implemented, and that additional funds from the Railway Investment Fund had already been allocated to repair infrastructure.
This 1,260 km rail network is one of the main travel and trade corridors between Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso, which enjoy a long-standing cultural and commercial relationship. On average, 200,000 people travel on these lines every year, and almost 1,000,000 tonnes of freight are shipped to Burkina Faso from the port of Abidjan.