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The road from Kenema to Kailahun District

There are a number of systems of transport in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa, which possess road, rail, air and water infrastructure, including a network of highways and several airports.

Contents

Railways

There are 84 kilometres of railway in Sierra Leone, of which all is of a narrow gauge, or 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in). Sierra Leone no longer has any common carrier railroads, as the 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge Sierra Leone Government Railway from Freetown through Bo to Kenema and Daru with a branch to Makeni closed in 1974. The country does not share rail links with adjacent countries, Guinea and Liberia.

The existing railroad is private and operated from 1933 until 1975 by the Sierra Leone Development Company's iron ore mines at Marampa, 66 km east-northeast of the port at Pepel. It is now used on a limited basis. Tecsbacos, the mining company, is reported in 2006 to have problems of theft and obstruction in operating the railway.[1] In May 2008, an extension of this line to Tonkolili with conversion to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) (standard gauge) upgrade to carry 25,000 t (24,605 LT; 27,558 ST) per year was under consideration. [2] [3]

Talks started with Russia in 2006 to seek help to rebuild railways in the country, although choice of gauge is problematic, since the original 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) gauge is obsolete.

Walking

Because of widespread poverty, high petroleum prices and a large portion of the population residing in small communities, walking is often the preferred method of transportation in Sierra Leone.

Highways

There are 11,700 kilometres of highway in Sierra Leone, of which 936 km are paved. When construction and reconstruction of roads and bridges in the country is complete, the Trans-West African Coastal Highway will cross Sierra Leone, connecting it to Conakry (Guinea), Monrovia (Liberia), and 11 other nations of ECOWAS.

Water

There are 800 km of waterways in Sierra Leone, of which 600 km are navigable year-round.

Major ports of Sierra Leone include: Bonthe, Freetown and Pepel. The country possesses a merchant marine of two cargo ships with masses exceeding 1,000GRT.

Airports

There are ten airports in Sierra Leone, of which one has paved runways (the length of which exceeds 3,047 m/9,997 ft). Of the remaining airports, all of which having unpaved runways, seven have runways of lengths between 914 and 1,523 m (2,999 and 4,997 ft); the remaining two having runways of shorter length. There are two heliports in the country.

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.

External links

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