Useful country information

Train operator:

SETRAG - no website.

 

 

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:

12 November 2017


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.

 Libreville ► Franceville

Km

Train:

 Train Express

Trans-Ogooue

VIP, 1st, 2nd, restaurant

Train Omnibus

l'Equateur

1st, 2nd, restaurant

Days of running:

Mon, Wed, Fri

Tue, Thur, Sun

Train number:

111/311/513

233/433/733

0

Owendo (Libreville)

18:50

18:50

182

Ndjolé

23:03

23:13

290

Lopé

01:03

01:17

338

Booué

01:51

02:25

375

Ivindo

02:31

03:05

484

Lastoursville

04:02

04:41

619

Moanda

06:09

06:54

669

Franceville

06:51

07:36

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, Sun

Mon, Wed, Fri

Train number:

310

232

Franceville

19:50

19:00

Moanda

20:30

19:40

Lastoursville

22:35

21:51

Ivindo

00:06

23:27

Booué

00:44

00:05

Lopé

01:32

01:15

Ndjolé

03:32

03:19

Owendo (Libreville)

07:45

07:42

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)

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   The Ntsa Express train at Owendo

Train Express, new 2017 1st class...

Photo courtesy of Rémi Favre

 

SETRAG locomotive...

Photo courtesy of Clive Leatherdale

Ntsa Express restaurant car

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!

Sponsored links...

 


Find hotels in Gabon...

    

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site:  www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings 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 great feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

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.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

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

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

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

 


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