Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) recently issued a call for expression of interest for technical studies in the framework of the reconstruction of the Douala-Yaoundé railway line.
This reconstruction is part of the regional project PCDN aimed at improving the performance of the Douala-Ndjamena Rail-Road Corridor.
According to the procurement notice, the selected consultant will carry out “a detailed study for the renewal of the current infrastructure on the Douala-Yaoundé section.”
When questioned over the reasons why the call was issued by the CCAA rather than the Ministry of Transport or Camrail (the state-owned railway operator), an authorized source at the Ministry of Finance explains that it is due to the specificities of both the project and the financing provided by the World Bank. “The CCAA’s role will end with the issuance of this call for expressions of interest. Bids will be collected and transmitted to Camrail for analysis. I can also tell you that the call for expression of interest was not written by CCAA,” the source adds.
The Regional Project PCDN aims to “reduce costs and transport delays on the Douala-Ndjamena corridor by optimizing the logistics chain and competitiveness of transport and transit services.”
The reconstruction of the Yaoundé-Douala railway line, which spans over 250 kilometers, is the most important reconstruction ever carried out in Cameroon. The closest project is the 175km Batschenga-Ka’a section that has already been completed.
The reconstruction of the Batschenga-Ka’a section was carried out in preparation for Camrail’s acquisition of railcars to reduce passenger train delays on the railway line connecting the two Cameroonian capitals. As an extension to the Batschenga-Ka’a reconstruction project, Camrail also renewed about forty kilometers of the track at the entrances to the cities of Douala and Yaounde.
With the reconstruction of the Douala-Yaoundé section that Cameroon is preparing, Camrail’s project (purchasing railcars) will probably be revived because since the October 2016 Eséka train derailment, the project has not been discussed again.