Mauritania Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mauritania Railway
Map Mauritania Railway.png
Map of Mauritania Railway
Coordinates21°21′18″N 13°00′46″W / 21.354867°N 13.012644°W / 21.354867; -13.012644Coordinates: 21°21′18″N 13°00′46″W / 21.354867°N 13.012644°W / 21.354867; -13.012644
Line length704 km (437 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Route map
0 km Cansado
0 km Nouadhibou
96 km Boulenoir
222 km Agueijit
255 km Inal
318 km Tmeimitschatt
393 km Ben Amira
460 km Choum
Choum Tunnel (Disused)
Western Sahara/Mauritania Border
Western Sahara/Mauritania Border
485 km Char
568 km Tuadschil
625 km Fderîck
650 km Zouérat
670 km Guelb El Rhein mine
700 km M'Haoudat mine

The Mauritania Railway is the national railway of Mauritania. Opened in 1963,[1] it consists of a single, 704-kilometre (437 mi) railway line linking the iron mining centre of Zouerate with the port of Nouadhibou, via Fderik and Choum. The state agency Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (National Mining and Industrial Company, SNIM) controls the railway line.

Since the closure of the Choum Tunnel, a 5 km (3.1 mi) section of the railway cuts through the Polisario Front-controlled part of the Western Sahara (21°21′18″N 13°00′46″W / 21.354867°N 13.012644°W / 21.354867; -13.012644).



Mauritania Railway train at the station in Nouadhibou

Trains on the railway are up to 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) in length,[2] making them among the longest and heaviest in the world. They consist of 3 or 4 diesel-electric EMD locomotives, 200 to 210 cars each carrying up to 84 tons of iron ore, and 2-3 service cars. The total traffic averages 16.6 million tons per year.

Passengers are also occasionally transported by train; these services are managed by an SNIM subsidiary, the société d'Assainissement, de Travaux, de Transport et de Maintenance (abb. ATTM).[3] Passenger cars are sometimes attached to freight trains, but more often passengers simply ride atop the ore hopper cars.


In October 2010, SNIM ordered six EMD SD-70ACS locomotives, with special modifications for operating in high temperatures.[4]

Glencore Xstrata[edit]

In 2014, Glencore Xstrata paid $1 billion to SNIM for access to that company's rail and port infrastructure. There will be branch lines to new mines at Askaf and Guelb El Aouj. It is cheaper for Glencore to share existing infrastructure than to build its own. [5]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Mauritania, a Nation of Moorish Nomads, Suddenly Finds Herself in 20th Century". The New York Times. January 20, 1964. last June, the 20th century elbowed its way into this Biblical picture
  2. ^ "The ore train". Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Railway Gazette: High temperature locomotives ordered from EMD". Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  5. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Robinson, Neil (2009). World Rail Atlas and Historical Summary. Volume 7: North, East and Central Africa. Barnsley, UK: World Rail Atlas Ltd. ISBN 978-954-92184-3-5.

External links[edit]