Libreville (Owendo) to Franceville

Trains link Libreville with Franceville several nights a week, either the faster Train Express Trans-Ogooue (formerly Ntsa Express) or the all-stations Train Omnibus l'Equateur.  The station at Libreville is Owendo, which is about 4 or 5 miles south of Libreville itself.  Although most trains run overnight, there are no sleeping berths, only seats.  Feedback would be appreciated if you use these trains.  You can check these times at www.setrag.ga.

 Libreville ► Franceville

Km

Train:

 Train Express

Trans-Ogooue

VIP, 1st, 2nd, restaurant

Train Omnibus

l'Equateur

1st, 2nd, restaurant

Days of running:

Mon, Wed

Thur, Sun

Train number:

111/311

433/733

0

Owendo (Libreville)

17:30

17:30

182

Ndjolé

21:10

21:00

338

Booué

01:00

00:25

484

Lastoursville

03:30

03:05

619

Moanda

05:40

05:40

669

Franceville

06:20

06:20

Express:  VIP class, 1st class, 2nd class, restaurant car, in cars built in Germany in 2017.

Omnibus:  VIP class, 1st class & 2nd class in some cars built in Korea in 2011, and some 2nd hand 1960s cars from France.

 Franceville ► Libreville

Train:

 Train Express

Trans-Ogooue

VIP, 1st, 2nd, restaurant

Train Omnibus

l'Equateur

1st, 2nd, restaurant

Days of running:

Tue, Thur

Mon, Fri

Train number:

212/412

132/532

Franceville

17:30

17:30

Moanda

18:15

18:15

Lastoursville

20:35

20:45

Booué

23:30

23:25

Ndjolé

02:35

02:42

Owendo (Libreville)

05:40

06:10

How much does it cost?

Owendo to Franceville

VIP seat

1st class seat

2nd class seat

Express:

64,300 CFA ($114)   

56,300 CFA ($102)   

42,200 CFA ($81) 

Omnibus:

56,300 CFA   

47,200 CFA ($86)   

33,100 CFA ($64)

Infants under 4 free.  Children 4-11 half price.  You can check these fares at www.setrag.ga.

How to buy tickets...

Luggage...

Up to 10Kg of hand luggage can be taken onto the train with you.  Up to 30Kg can be checked before departure for a CFA 1300 registration fee and CFA 500 wrapping fee per item.  You need to check your bags in at the station at least an hour or two before departure.  If you have a 1st class or VIP class ticket there is a 1st class lounge you can use at Owendo to wait for your train.  Feedback would be appreciated.

What are the trains like?

The express train was re-equipped in 2017 with modern air-conditioned German-built cars.  1st & 2nd class is provided, both are comfortable although only seats are provided, no sleeping berths.  There is currently no sign of VIP class cars on the express train even though VIP fares are still quoted, it's possible the VIP cars are still to be delivered.  New restaurant cars should be delivered by the end of 2017.  The train omnibus uses older cars, mainly French-built, but they are still comfortable.  No alcohol is allowed on board these trains.

Ntsa Express restaurant car

The air-conditioned Train Express, newly-delivered in 2017.  Photo courtesy of Rémi Favre...

2nd class seats on the Libreville to Franceville train   1st class on the express

Train Express, new 2017 1st class...

Photo courtesy of Rémi Favre

 

Another shot of the new 1st class on the express.  Courtesy of Stuart Jarvis.

Ntsa Express restaurant car

The view along the track at Lope station.  Photo courtesy of Stuart Jarvis...

Ist class on the trainb omnibus   The Ntsa Express train at Owendo

1st class on the Train Omnibus...

Photo courtesy of Stuart Jarvis

 

SETRAG locomotive...

Photo courtesy of Clive Leatherdale

The Train Omnibus

The Train Omnibus, using older cars.  Photo courtesy of Melinda Barry...

Owendo (Libreville) station   Owendo (Libreville) station

Owendo station, some 4 miles from Libreville...

Photo courtesy of Ann Johnson

 

Owendo station...

Photo courtesy of Ann Johnson

Traveller's reports...

Traveller Clive Leatherdale reports, "Previous guidebooks have suggested the train is decrepit and prone to breakdown and delay.  To my untrained eye, the train looked modern and reliable. On the day I visited the station it arrived on schedule to the minute.  Owendo station struck me by its cleanliness and efficiency, and Gabon seems proud of its railway."

More information...

If anyone has any more information. photos or travel reports that would be useful for this page, please e-mail me!


large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator:

SETRAG, www.setrag.ga.

 

Time zone:

GMT+1 all year

Dialling code:

 

+241

Currency:

£1 = approx 785 CFA Francs.     Currency converter

Tourist information:

  

Visas:

UK citizens need a visa for Gabon.  Gabonese embassy, 27 Elvaston Place, London SW7 5NL, tel. 020 7823 9986.  If arriving in Libreville by air you can het an e-visa at https://evisa.dgdi.ga.

Page last updated:

20 April 2021


large bullet pointHotels in Gabon...

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


large bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN...

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

 

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Always take out travel insurance...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flagIn the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

UK flagIf you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

UK flagYou can use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

  Australian flag New Zealand flag  Irish flag    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

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Curve card

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How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself - I get some commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you £5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 


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