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 information about the Gambian railways
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brusubi

Netherlands
43 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2006 :  20:28:43  Show Profile  Visit brusubi's Homepage Send brusubi a Private Message
Hello,
By an old postcard from 1900 from the Wellingtonstreet in Bathurst, I found out that once there used to be a railway connection in Gambia.
After some asking around I now know there used to be a railway connection from Banjul all the way up to brufut, this line was in use from the late 19th century till about 1958 I have been told.
Is there anyone who can tell me more about the Gambian railways?
Are there still some parts intact and what happened with the trains themselves, are they still somewhere to be found? Who has some pictures of that railway?
thank you for your answers
regards
roger

njucks

Gambia
1131 Posts

Posted - 14 May 2006 :  21:52:56  Show Profile Send njucks a Private Message
wow its amazing some of the things we learn in the Bantaba. the building on the postcard is still standing and is currently the Ministry of Finance on the other side of the park.

i have never heard of a railway and i doubt it, but in Brufut there used to some mining activity by British Titan Ltd during the colonial era.

normally mining and railways go together but i dont think this was the case as Banjul has only ever had one bridge and there is no railway on it. the old one is still hanging by the side collapsing gradually.
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rah



117 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  01:30:28  Show Profile Send rah a Private Message
Never heard of railway tracks in Banjul. The building on the picture reminds me of "Companie" building at "Tefes" i.e Wellington street.
njucks sees something else, and may be right.
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Newfy



Western Samoa
462 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  04:22:43  Show Profile Send Newfy a Private Message
amazing ... where did you find this postcard?
and are the buildings still standing?
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Jack



Belgium
384 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  11:26:42  Show Profile Send Jack a Private Message
Brusubi.

I have several digital copys of several old maps of Banjul( from 1826 on). In a map of 1909 I think the railway is indicated from the harbour (in Wellington street) starting at the junction with Mill street, up to The Marina. This is the street where the Atlantic Hotel is now. The railway is stopping (at least on the map) before the cementery at approximately where is now the Arch.

I'm not sure because there is no legenda.

The files are more than 2 mB, I'm looking to put them on the Bantaba (failed so far) or on the Dutch Pribord. Try that one of these days.

Greetz
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Momodou



Denmark
9027 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  11:46:45  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Both kuntaur and Kaur had similar railways from the wharfs to the ware houses up to the 1960s when the groundnut mills were active in these two provincial towns. There were hand pushed wagons for transporting goods from the ships. This one on the post card could also be for transporting goods from the habour to ware houses along wellington street.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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gambiabev

United Kingdom
3091 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  11:54:35  Show Profile Send gambiabev a Private Message
This seems a good idea...why was it stopped?
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njucks

Gambia
1131 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  13:01:48  Show Profile Send njucks a Private Message
thanks guys, this is good info but i think hand pushed wagons is ''hard work'' and not a good idea.

Rah you may be right, i'm not sure but i thought the dome on top looks like the one at the Quadrangle with the clock if you look at it from Independence Drive. and its also on the left?
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Momodou



Denmark
9027 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  14:05:55  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Bathurst Macarty square 1906
I hope you don't mind having this posted from the old bantaba.


http://www.camara.dk/_bantaba/0000356b.htm

historical pictures on the internet
From: roger and bintou
Date: 30 apr 2005
Time: 09:16:15

Comments
Hello, over the past year I collected some historical pictures of the Gambia and its people, some are in my possesion some I just copied from other sites. They show old views of Banjul and I tried to collect pictures from tribes living in Gambia and in Senegal. At the moment I am still looking for some "old" man from different tribes , they are hard to find!If you have any pictures for me, especially from man, I would apreciate it. if you like to see the pictures go to http://www.gambiaholidayhome.centerall.com you find them in photogallery 3 starting from page 3 roger

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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MADIBA



United Kingdom
1275 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  18:09:25  Show Profile Send MADIBA a Private Message
Rah,
I think you've got it. The buildings are those after old customs on the right side coming from the post office end goind towards the ferry terminal. This postcard is truly emotional. Thanks brusubhi for this piece of history.

madiss
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kondorong



Gambia
4380 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  18:29:51  Show Profile Send kondorong a Private Message
Yes the rail way were actually drawn carts used to carry goods from the wharf and old customs. I have never heard of it going out side banjul. The Building shown is not the Quadrangle but around the wharf on Wellington street. I read something about this years ago.

It was used by big businesses like Maurel and Prom, Bessiyat( spelling not correct), etc established by royal charter with licenses to do trading.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
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brusubi

Netherlands
43 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  18:37:58  Show Profile  Visit brusubi's Homepage Send brusubi a Private Message
Thank you all for the information. This summer I will try to find some of the old lines or wagons from the line. When I do I will let you know here. Also I am still looking for more old postcards,if I have some good ones I will publish them here or on my site.
It is a pitty that the mayority of the postcards are only bare breasted women from the different tribes because the old colonials seemed to be more interested in African female anatomy then historic places or buildings.
Wouldn,t it not be a good idea to try to get some kind of railway system back in the Gambia?
A city as Serrekunda is now almost impossible to live in because the heavy polution by cars and lorries
regards
roger
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kondorong



Gambia
4380 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  19:00:23  Show Profile Send kondorong a Private Message
Please visit the National Records Office in Banjul, and you will be suprised the amount of pictures of Banjul you will find. It is free atleast when i las visisted and used to work there.

There are pictures of the Bajul flood when canoes were used to travel in the city. The whole city was covered and some photographs of boys who are now in the corridoors of power today. It is real fun.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
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rah



117 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  19:20:20  Show Profile Send rah a Private Message
It looks like the junction of Angleses and Wellington street (tefes) or The Quadrangle as njucks suggests. Who knows! yeh,rah
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kondorong



Gambia
4380 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  19:26:46  Show Profile Send kondorong a Private Message
It could not have been the quadrangle becasue that building pre-dates the one in the picture. The one in the quadrangle was built by the portuguese and that area was not the commercial district.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”
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njucks

Gambia
1131 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2006 :  19:39:08  Show Profile Send njucks a Private Message
rah/madiba

you're right. i got it completely wrong. they look similar but its the old 'tefes' building and i think the juctions is anglesea too.

Kondorong perhaps someone should hold an exhibition of colonial photos. i have seen many in old homes in Banjul. taking photographs in those early times was a something else and it was an art. people posed with their wives with the chewing sticks in their finest clothes. some even with bicycles .

i once read about a pioneering Malian photograher called Seydou Keita. you can see some of his pictures below.the pictures are familiar

http://www.africanimagery.com/galleries/phpslideshow.php?directory=keita¤tPic=0
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