Rail transport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Diagrammatic Map of rail and other methods of surface transport in the DRC
Train from Lubumbashi arriving in Kindu on newly refurbished line

Rail transport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is provided by the Congo Railroad Company (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo) and the Office National des Transports (Congo) (ONATRA) and the Office of the Uele Railways (Office des Chemins de fer des Ueles, CFU).

The national system is mostly operated by the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC). Not all rail lines link up, but are generally connected by river transport. The rail systems are listed below.[1][2][3]


The following lines have been completely removed and are not listed for future rehabilitation:

Track totals[edit]

4772 km (2002), 5138 km (1995);
narrow gauge:

Railway links to adjacent countries[edit]

There is only one currently functioning international link:

This link is currently not operating:

There are boat links to rail lines in these neighbouring countries:

These neighbouring countries have rail systems, but there are no links from the Congo:

These neighbouring countries have no rail systems: Central African Republic, Rwanda and Burundi.


Proposed rail projects[edit]


On 3 November 2008, four diesel-electric locomotives were supplied to the DRC from China. These are 1,800 hp Co-Co locomotives, model CKD7C, built by the China Northern Rail Corporation Limited (CNR).[16]



Stations served by rail[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Railways in Southern Africa. This source does not distinguish between operational and non-functioning lines.
  2. ^ UNJLC Map number: UNJLC DRC 001 (7 MB). This source distinguishes between 'operational' and 'very degraded' lines, but detail on some sections is obscured by roads.
  3. ^ Rail Network Description at UNJLC. Retrieved 2 June 2007.
  4. ^ a b The Terminal
  5. ^ www.fahrplancenter.com
  6. ^ Le Potentiel, 16 August 2006.
  7. ^ a b Durrant, A.E., A.A. Jorgensen, C.P. Lewis. Steam in Africa, London, 1981, Hamlyn.
  8. ^ www.bck-kdl.be/Ligne Stanleyville-Ponthierville
  9. ^ www.fahrplancenter.com
  10. ^ Closed "owing to its lack of profitability" (Inter Rail No. 2/1997); Mobutu also closed the bank branches and industry in this region (Le Potentiel No. 3700/2006).
  11. ^ Blanchart, Charles: Le Rail au Congo Belge 1920–1945. Bruxelles: Blanchart, 1999
  12. ^ www.bck-kdl.be
  13. ^ "China Invests In DRC Transport Infrastructure." OT Africa Line website, dated 17/9/07, source AFP.
  14. ^ "African projects deserve support". Railway Gazette International September 2005
  15. ^ http://www.krc.co.ke/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&Itemid=66
  16. ^ http://www.railwaysafrica.com/2008/11/chinese-locos-for-drc/

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Rail transport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at Wikimedia Commons