Archive for the 'Train Nouadhibou Choum Fderik and Zouerat' Category

Map Inchiri Region, Mauritania

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Iron Ore Train from Nouadhibou, Choum to Fderik and Zouerat, Biggest Train in the World, Mauritania

 

The train from Nouadhibou to Choum is the longest train in the world.

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The iron ore train carry thousands of tons of crushed rock in a chain of wagons up to three kilometres long. Their schedules and frequencies depend partly on the speed of the extraction at the mines, and on unpredictable hold-ups-damaged rails, engine failure and even in the past, attacks by Polisario guerrillas from over the border in Western Sahara-and travellers should realize that ore is the priority, not passengers.

Three trains a day go from Zouerat to Nouadhibou, but only one with a passenger carriage passes Choum at about 5.30-6pm. the usual journey time for Choum to Nouadhibou is around 12 hours but expect more. 2 others may come through late at night, or early in the morning, but on these foot passengers have to huddle in the ore trucks.

There are 3 trains a day, but only the one at 14.30 takes passengers (maybe if you have to transport your car as well, you can take another train).

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It is 460km/12hrs from Nouadhibou to Choum and you can follow the distance on milestones along the track.

For further information contact SNIM, Nouadhibou BP 42 -tel 745174 ext:1700;fax 745396, the state organization that runs the iron ore mines and the railway.

Motorists who are heading to Atar can load their car onto opened platforms, although this can take days: start waiting at the railway station opposite the douanes at 9am to stand the chance of getting it loaded onto the 6pm freight train. I reserved a place in the train 2 weeks before I drove down, and when I arrived the train transportation wagons were just not going to leave the station in Nouadhibou. I had to take the desert tracks south to Nouakchott.

The train transports iron ore from Zouerat to Nouadhibou and can be up to 2.5km long. There are lots of bucket wagons for the ore but just one passenger wagon.

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