Presentation of the Transports Sector


Indicators of the transport sector in Algeria are as follows:

_ Share in the communication sector: 9.7% of the GDP

_ It absorbs 10% of the country’s investments

_ Infrastructure is diversified and quantitatively important :

_ More than 80,000 km roads, 71% of which are tarred, including 25,000 main roads ;

_ The railway network covers 3,973 km, 75% are normally gauged;

_ 10 commercial ports, 4 of which are designed for hydrocarbons;

_ 54 airports platforms, 12 of which are international;

_ 2 East and West gas pipelines to Europe (GME and TransMed) covering

   about 3,000 km and a network of oil pipelines to convey fuel and GPL designed for internal consumption, covering a total distance of about 2,400 km.


Transport Sector’s Stakeholders


The main actor of the transports sector is the State represented by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Works. Several other Ministries also play different roles in the field of transport: Interior, Finance,

Territory Planning, and Environment.

Road infrastructures are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works. The Ministry’s attributions include planning, programming, standardizing, facilitating and controlling the entire national highway and

road networks, building, operating and maintaining them and managing budget funding assigned to road projects. In the field of roads, the Ministry relies on a central administration and Public Works Departments (DTP) spread throughout the 48 Wilayas, in charge of maintaining and developing national roads.

The Ministry also supervises the National Highways Agency (ANA), in charge of engineering and managing the execution of the East-West highway. It also supervises the Algerian Highways Management (AGA), created in 2005 to be in charge of the operation and maintenance of highways. Oversight on the

development and maintenance of railways at the level of Wilayas is their responsibility, while the operation and maintenance of tracks and urban road at the level of cities is the task of municipalities. Supervision is in

both cases carried out by DTPs.

As for different road transportation services, the Ministry of Transport is in charge of the technical and administrative aspects; as in the case of road infrastructure, the management of the road transport sector is made by a central administration and regional representations in the form of Transport Departments for each Wilaya.


 Presentation of Railway Transport


Active players in the railway transport sector include SNTF (National Railways Company) and its thirteen subsidiaries, the National Agency for the Study and Follow up of the execution of Investments (ANESRIF), INFRAFER Company, and some private companies in charge of the execution and maintenance of


The Algerian railway network covers a total distance of 4,300 kilometers, including 3,200 km of normal track lines, 1,100 km of narrow tracks, 394 are double-track lines and 283 km electrified lines.

The network has been growing for some years in order to extend and develop high speed lines.

SNTF is also responsible for maintaining and modernizing the network. Its assets include the following


_ 222 locomotives including 18 electrical machines;

_ 440 wagon cars including 227 designed for passengers of normal track

   main lines;

_ 9,855 wagons including 4,016 specialized in minerals, phosphate, cereals

   and tanks;

As for maintenance infrastructures, SNTF operates four major and autonomous workshops and two integrated maintenance workshops.

In 2007, SNTF transported 22 million passengers (including 88% by suburban services) compared to 29 million passengers 2002, which represents a 32% market loss. Performances in terms of passengers/km dropped less as the traffic of passengers reached in 2007 about 821 million passengers/km versus 955 million passengers/km in 2002, reflecting a 16% drop.

As for the goods transportation, SNTF carried in 2007 about 6.5 million tons against 9.3 million tons in 2002, hence a 43% market loss.

In terms of tons/kilometer, the goods transportation activity dropped by 57% during the period 2002-2007.

SNTF’s subsidiaries are the result of the railway activity segmentation policy. The objective being to vitalize some business sectors and hold said subsidiaries accountable for management results.

This approach resulted in the creation of thirteen subsidiaries covering the following domains: transport of fuel, transport of cereals, international transport, message transportation, operation of buffet and sleeping

cars, signaling and telecommunications, supply, electrification, infrastructures and engineering.


Corresponding subsidiaries are:

1. STIM created in February 1994 and is in charge of end-to-end transportation of goods, combining railroad modes and other related


2. STG created in November 1999 with the objective of transporting cereals using railways, or rail-road combinations and other modes if necessary;

3. SETIRAIL created in February 1993 and is in charge of transport engineering, mainly: the execution of

studies and follow up of operations concerning transportation equipment and rail infrastructures;

4. RESRAURAIL created in December 1993 and is in charge of catering and operation of sleeping beds, buffets, snacks and newsstands;

5. TRANSIT RAILS created in May 1993, and its role is the transit, in-bond storage, grouping, management of containers and engineering works;

6. RAIL TELECOM created in February 2007 with the aim of representing public services for the management, operation the of the network and the management of SNTF’s telecommunication infrastructure as well as any other development, design and execution activity, etc …

7. STPE created in February 1999, and is in charge of the transport of energetic products using railways or a combined rail-road mode and other related means;

8. RAIL PUB AFFICHAGE created in February 2007 and aims at the management, operation and provision of areas designed for paid advertising;

9. RAIL LINK ALGERIA, created in April 2007 and is in charge of the carriage of containers using railways or a combined rail-road mode throughout the Algerian territory;

10. RAIL EXPRESS created in February 1993. It is in charge of the collection of parcels and mail, the rapid transportation of goods and all related activities;

11. RAIL ELECTR created in December 1994, and is responsible for engineering and railway electrification works, mainly:

_ Electrification studies of railway, metro and tramway networks;

_ Electrification works, catenaries, substations and related activities

12. INFRARAIL created in October 1997 and is responsible for railway and roads infrastructure works, mainly civil engineering, roads and other works, the laying of rail tracks, railways maintenance works and concrete specialty works (buildings, bridges, improvement of tracks);

13. ESTEL RAIL AUTOMATION was created in October 2004, and is responsible for signaling and telecommunications in the railway sector, mainly: signaling, telecommunications and electricity studies,

and the setting up of signaling, telecommunications, remote controlled passenger information, public address systems, remote displaying system, monitoring and related activities;

14. ANSERIF is a public institution created in 2005 and placed under the authority of the Minister of Transport. Its role is to manage railway works and monitor the good execution of projects and their delivery within set deadlines.

15. INFRAFER is a public institution resulting of the 1986 SNTF’s restructuring operation and placed under the authority of the Minister of Public Works. Its main activity domain concerns railway infrastructure

works, mainly renovation of tracks. It is also in charge of producing ballasts, aggregates and concrete crosspieces.

16. Private Companies are responsible for maintaining tracks, improving stations, mainly the construction or repair of passengers’ terminals. Companies usually have limited resources and can only implement small



Engaged Reforms


Law 01-03 dated August 7, 2001 providing for the organization of railway transport includes general principles, common provisions to different transportation modes, railway transport, the organization of transport, the choice and development of infrastructures and equipment, and the institution of organs.

The Law introduced the concession concept, which may concern:

_ The technical and commercial operation of all or part of the railway transportation service for goods or passengers;

_ The management of railway infrastructures in all or part of the network, and the technical and commercial operation of railway transportation service targeting passengers or goods on the same section of the network;


Results of Reforms and Freight Corridor


These reforms reduced the size of staff and hence reduced costs.

The State signed a program contract with SNTF aiming at:

_ Defining performance indicators;

_ Concretization of the infrastructure’s concession

_ The financial organization of the company over three phases

_ Coverage by the State of expenses related to infrastructure

The Maghreb/Europe freight corridor is the output of an agreement between the three Maghreb countries crossing Algeria from the Moroccan border to the Tunisian one.

This corridor was subject of an IUC symposium in Tunis in order to enhance railway development in the region and design a study for the operation of new opportunities.

The Jebel Ounk-Annaba line also represents another corridor for the transportation of mines.

The Tougourt-Annaba-Skikda track constitutes a third corridor for oil.


Railways Development Plan and Funding


Algeria is doubling and electrifying the railway line linking the Moroccan border to the Tunisian border.

Modernizing works were launched on the Annaba-Jebel Ounk mining line.

SNTF defined objectives in the framework of a global strategy to enhance railway production to 80 million passengers and 15 million/tons of freight, while increasing commercial speeds on the following lines:

Algiers-Oran (420 Km) 2h45mn

Algiers-Constantine (462 Km) 3h20mn

Algiers-Annaba (629 Km) 4h55mn

Algeria is considering the execution of high speed lines (LGV) with the following characteristics:

_ The line is a double-lane track, normally gauged (1,435mm).

_ The axle load for the infrastructure is 22.5 T for the infrastructure and 25 T for bridges.

_ the financial cleansing of the company with three recoveries

_ The line’s maximal speed is 220 km/h in plain areas and 200 km/h in mountainous areas.

_ The line’s maximal admissible length profile is 16 per thousand, exceptionally 18.

_ The lanes center to center distance is 4.20 m.

The line is mixed for passengers and goods, and includes no grade crossing fenced from end to end.

Quays have a useful length of 325 m and are 6 m large. Heights are 550 mm above rails.

The line is equipped with track switching stations (PCV) and track switching and siding stations (PCVE).

The type of tunnels longer than 4,000 m is bi-tube with connection stubs between tubes equipped with all necessary safety systems.

The railway radio-telecommunication system is GSM-R. Control of the train operation is ETCS and finally the traffic management system is ETLM.

Passengers’ trains are made up of 8 to 12 cars depending on the composition of trains which are powered engine cars made up of two motor coaches developing a total power of 5,600 KW.





Connections of Algeria with Tunisia and Morocco do not raise any particular interoperability problem:

nevertheless, the Algerian network is a double normal gauge (3,200 km) and metric gauge (1,100 km) which raises interoperability problems.

The Algerian authorities are transforming some metric lines into normal lines, as is the case for the Oran –Bechar connection.

Electrification projects therefore raise interoperability problems between old and new projects related to the nature of the used power (alternative for new projects, continuous for old ones).


 Railway safety


Algeria does not have an autonomous national authority in charge of railway safety. The body in charge of railway transport i.e. SNTF is the single authority managing safety aspects with the Ministry in charge


source: Status Report on the Implementetion of RTAP