(Business in Cameroon) - Alas, the Douala-Yaoundé express train will soon be relaunched. Currently, there is no stated relaunch date but according to Minister of Transports Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe, this relaunch has been authorized by the President of the republic. The official revealed this on June 22, in Yaoundé, during a special meeting of the COMIFER (Interministerial Committee on Railways Infrastructure) and the CTV (Passenger Service Committee) he chaired.
Present at the meeting was Pascal Miny, CEO of CAMRAIL - concessionaire of the Cameroonian railway network and a subsidiary of French group Bolloré Logistics. According to CAMRAIL, the agenda of the meeting was the review of the conditions under which the Douala-Yaounde express train will be relaunched in the “coming days.”
This announcement of the relaunch of this express train occurs just weeks after the Minister of Transports carried out a working visit, on April 29, 2021, to CAMRAIL’s headquarters in Douala. During this visit, the official checked the 11 passenger cars rehabilitated (to the tune of XAF1.1 billion). Later, he took part in the test drive of the intercity train. This test drive lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes against three hours and thirty minutes in the past. To explain the increase in travel duration, CAMRAIL informed that there are four new stops at the Edéa, Eseka, Makak, and Ngoumou stations. Besides those stops, it is highly probable that the current state of the railway has contributed to an increase in the travel duration.
The express train was interrupted on October 21, 2016, after the Eseka railway accident that claimed 79 lives and 600 injured. The relaunch of that intercity train, which is a mass transport mean, will substantially boost the transport offer between the two most important cities of Cameroon.