The first railway in French Guinea opened in 1902 between Tombo and Kaloum. It was built to metre gauge, then in common use for minor railways in France. The following year, the line was extended to the capital city and port of Conakry, and by 1913 as far as Kankan (albeit with two breaks at major river crossings). This public 662km line remained the only railway for many years, but the greater part of it closed in 1986, leaving only around 36km from Conakry in regular use. Rehabilitation work on the remainder commenced in 2010 but ceased the following year.
In 1973, a new standard (1435mm) gauge railway, the Chemin de Fer de Boké, opened for the conveyance of bauxite from the mines at Sangaredi to the port of Kamsar, a distance of 136km. A daily passenger service also operates.
In 2010, a new railway was authorised to convey iron ore from the mining region around Simandou to a new port at Didia in Liberia; however, this plan was subsequently replaced by one for a 650km railway from Simandou to a port at Matakong, south of Conakry.
In 2014, a new 900km railway was proposed from Conakry to Bamako in Mali.
In 2017, a feasibility study was authorised for a new alumina refinery together with a railway linking it to bauxite mines in the Boké and Boffa areas and the port of Dapilon.
Flag image from CIA World Factbook