Correspondences du Chemin de Fer et Navigation
|© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.|
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Villiaume headed a mining company that paid 5237.55 francs to ship equipment on the railroad from Kayes to Bamako. He asked for a rate reduction on certain items.
This letter suggests that the Chemin de Fer Kayes-Niger acquire "le petit railway entre les deux Koulikoro" (the narrow-gauge railway that connected the train station to the river port at Koulikoro).
This is a file containing a large amount of correspondence in response to a request by M. Pottier of Mopti for a reduction in railroad tarifs on coal and petroleum fuels.
This letter includes a list of goods that were carried from Bamako towards Kayes by the railroad in the 2nd quarter of 1908.
Work on the Chemin de Fer Kayes-Ambédidi required 1,400 men in 1909. They already had 400 volunteers and 725 requisitioned workers, so they still needed 275 more.
Africans in Bamako complained that African leaders in the District du Chemin de Fer (along the railroad) prevented them from farming within 50 meters of the railroad line, but allowed railroad employees to do exactly that.
M. David, representing the Maison Simon, a European merchant, demanded damages from the Service de la Navigation in connection with an accident involving the tugboat Réné "Caillie" as it towed two barges and a pirogue loaded with goods for his firm.
The director of the railroad suggested that the narrow-gauge railroad (Decauville) that linked Bafoulabé to Mahina be dismantled and moved to Bamako to create a 1200-meter "transbordeur" between Bamako and the government center at Koulouba.
NOTE: The Decauville was finally taken out in 1911. Other relevant correspondence in this file includes a request by 8 African merchants in Bafoulabé to have it repaired and improved [see Letter to Lt. Gouverneur du Haut-Sénégal-Niger (Bafoulabé May 18, 1908)], and a recommendation from the the Commandant du Cercle de Bafoulabé that it be removed [see Commandant du Cercle de Bafoulabé to Lt. Gouverneur du Haut-Sénégal-Niger, n°348C (Bafoulabé April 13, 1910)].
This letter mentioned a study by Commandant Digue in 1905 for a railroad to connect Bamako to Niamey.
The Buffet-Hotel de la Gare de Bamako (hotel-restaurant at the Bamako train station) was in a run-down condition and needed to be repainted. It also needed new linens and glassware.
M. Simon of Mopti was granted his request to have locally-made soap classified as 3rd class railroad freight so that it would be charged at a lower rate than imported soap. This letter calculated the appropriate freight rate at 0.10 francs/kilogram from Koulikoro to Kayes, based on a price of 1 franc/kilogram for Simon's soap.
However, a handwritten note at the bottom of the page said that Simon's soap only sold for 0.50 francs/kilogram in Bamako and at most 0.75 francs/kilogram in Kayes. In comparison, white Marseille soap sold for 1 francs/kilogram in Kayes and 1.25 francs/kilogram in Bamako. If Simon's soap was to be competitive, the railroad would have to charge him less than 0.10 francs/kilogram.
In response to a request by the Chambre de Commerce de Bamako, the Chemin de Fer Kayes-Niger added a passenger car to its weekly freight train between Kayes and Bamako (although this letter doesn't say when). However, only one passenger ever used the service, so the railroad curtailed the service.
This letter repeats a request by European merchants for lower freight rates to transport cattle on the railroad.
In response to a request by European merchants for lower freight rates for the transport of cattle on the railroad, the railroad director pointed out that the railroad already lost money on cattle transport. The critical issue was the relationship between inbound and outbound freight, which unfortunately reached their respective peaks at different times of the year. As a result, the railroad was frequently forced to move empty cars from one end of the line to the other. A special rate for cattle would only increase outbound freight at a time when the railroad was busy hauling local produce to Kayes for shipment to Europe. In addition, Soudanese cattle were obliged to pay customs when they entered France, and thus would never become competitive with French cattle.