aof document

Various documents concerning work on the Chemin de Fer de Thiès à Kayes (1908-1909)
in AOF Series O 65

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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Note présentée par la Compagnie Française de l'Afrique Occidentale
sur le tracé du Chemin de Fer de jonction Thiès-Niger
à la section Africaine de l'Union Coloniale
(December 10, 1908)

This document is subtitled "Réponses du Capitaine du Génie Friry (Chef du Service de la Construction du Chemin de Fer Thiès à Kayes) aux observations indiquées dans la note ci-contre." It is a 26-page transcript of an argument favoring the construction of the new rail line and the response by an engineer responsible for carrying out the work.

(pp3-4) The spokesperson for the Compagnie Française de l'Afrique Occidentale gives a classic statement of how the railroad benefitted the local people: "C'est grêce à cette voie ferrée que les habitants nombreux s'y sont établis et y vivent à l'aise de la culture de l'arachide dont la présence du rail assure la vente à un prix rénumérator. Cette population vit et prospére malgré la rareté, en saison séche, de l'eau de surface; elle s'alimente sans difficulté notable, au moyen de puits qui vont dans certaines parties jusqu'à 60 métres de profondeur."

Roughly translated, this says "Thanks to the railroad, the inhabitants live easily as peanuts farmers because the railroad makes it possible to sell peanuts at a good price. Even though there is little surface water during the dry season, the population easily obtains water from wells which go as deep as 60 meters."

(p21) The author explained that the route of the railroad had to pass closer to Kaolack than originally intended in order to find sufficient water.


Le Capitaine Chef de Service du Chemin de Fer Friry to Monsieur l'Inspecteur des Finances, Directeur du contrïle Financier, letter (Thiès, May 8, 1909)

The purpose of this seven-page letter is make projections for fiscal receipts of the Chemin de Fer Thiès-Kayes. I took notes on the parts that describe the portion of the line that is already in service.

(p1) In 1910, roughly 140 kilometers of rail were in service and another 91 kilometers were under construction. By the end of 1910, the author anticipated that an additional 54 kilometers would be in service. In addition, he expects to complete the siding to Kaolack.