ans document

Sénégal Soudan, Rapport Annuel sur les travaux executés et les dépenses ordonnancées au 31 Decembre 1940
in ANS 2 G 40 (134)

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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This is a 17-page report signed by railroad director Cuneo at Thiès, March 21, 1941

(p2) Due to the world war, railroad personnel were reduced to 1/3 of normal and the manual labor force was entirely composed of volunteers. The cadres employed a total of 8 Europeans, 5 Africans and 5 African auxilliaires.

The use of voluntary labor was satisfactory. There was an average of 1,180 laborers at any one time and that was enough to maintain the railroad, since the repair work was already finished in the most difficult regions.

The railroad made a serious effort to cope with the shortage of petrol fuels by substituting steam and gasogene power for compressors.

(p3) The Toukoto chalk factory went back into operation, but its product was inferior to imported cement. Toukoto chalk could be mixed with half as much imported cement to make a product suitable for the construction of large masonry projects. (Using Toukoto cement alone, the finished masonry crumbled, creating a dangerous situation.) All of the masonry projects constructed in 1940 were built in the beginning of the year using imported cement.

The rails were upgraded to 30 kilograms per meter as far as kilometer 936.8 near Fangala, a distance of 9.5 kilometers. Rail weighing 26 kilograms per meter was removed as far as Badumbé, but the railroad wanted to keep it on hand in case new supplies didn't arrive from France. They hoped to complete the reballasting of the railroad as far as Toukoto.

(p5) The quarry at Oualia provided 19,200 cubic meters of ballast from operations that lasted until the end of November.

(p6) The quarry at Fangala began operation in April and provided 14,500 cubic meters of ballast. This quarry had been established in 1939 before the war broke out.

(p10) The Chemin de Fer Benin-Niger had planned to replace 30 kilometers of rail and 17 switches, but the outbreak of war made it impossible to ship the necessary materials.

(p13) This table contains figures showing the costs of railroad reconstruction. The figures in red were added by the author and do not appear in the original document.

Section Cost
francs per kilometer
Total length (kilometer) Total cost (francs)
Kayes-Dioubéba 473,000 119 * 56,258,775
Dioubéba-Oualia 674,000 16 9,266,348
Oualia-Badumbé 738,000 19 13,970,243
Badumbé-Fangala between
540,000-700,000
18 -
Overall average 525,000 - 79,495,466

* Later schedules give the distance between Kayes and Dioubéba as 159 kilometers.

A total of 150 million francs was appropriated for the work, covering a distance of 211 kilometers. As of December 31, 1940, 91.5 million francs were already spent, 43% of the distance was completely redone, and 1.7 million francs worthy of material was still on hand to be used.

(p14) Repair crews refurbished an average of 19.3 kilometer per year, but only 10 kilometer were done in 1940 due to the WWII.