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Anne Ransquin

Bamako, platform #01

Mali - 2005 - 2007

Built by the French colonial administration at the end of the 19th century, inaugurated in 1924, the railroad line linking Bamako to the port of Dakar (1287 km) was used to dispatch troops and commodities in between the two cities. Nowadays neglected, sold bit by bit to different foreign consortiums (including Belgian ones), the chaotic management of the line drove to the decline of traffic and the deterioration of the buildings. This doesn’t discourage the passengers that board on it every week. The incomplete old wagons from Europe have recently been replaced by the “blue train”, inherited from the Indian continent for the transport of passengers. More modern and comfortable, it’s also safer. When a train is announced as about to leave, it’s the entire train station hall that livens up. Stallholders, travelers, travel couriers, a few tourists, sometimes lost in the brouhaha... Everyone is busy with loading their luggage and finding their own seat.