|First DP class in the new SNCFT livery (introduced with the GM
GT18B) is the now standard gauge DP 142. The photo also shows the
Dofasco trucks which doesn't have the sand boxed usual with most export
MLWs. Train 31 Tunis - Beja at Jedeida, June 13th, 2000.
Damian Clement photo
Ugly looking like the Portuguese class 1960 is the SNCFT DP class. These are MXS624, the 22 units for North Africa were the last locomotives built by Bombardier. Similar to the DI class the 22 units are split into 4 standard gauge units and 18 meter gauge units.
The 1435 mm units can be often seen between Tunis and Ghardimaou, sharing the express train assignments with the unloved Ganz DO class. As seen below, the Beja area sports some excellent photo locations with three stone viaducts. DP 142 (formerly narrow gauge) and 150 are painted in the blue livery, the other two standard gauge units 151 and 152 are still green. Beyond Tunis there's little to no tourism and both train and station staff might find photters suspiciuos.
On the ng the DP class was replaced since 1999/2000 by the new GMLG (General Motors Locomotive Group) GT18B on all loco-hauled passenger trains between Tunis and Sfax. The BBDs moved into freight traffic and can be seen especially around Metlaoui, where they are used also as helpers on phosphate trains to Sfax. DP's can substitute the DN class on passenger workings between Sfax and Metlaoui. On January 3rd 2002 only the DN and DH classes went to Seldja. Southern Tunisia is dry and desolate with quite some poverty, especially young lads being a nuisance begging and touching your equipment. The Lézard Rouge excoursion train brings some tourism to Metlaoui. A few grocers think to make big business with the strangers, so beware! With the splendid scenery (viaducts in the desert, Seldja Canyon) exploring the region with a rental car might be worth a consideration though.
DP 140 leaves Metlaoui on January 3rd with a
phosphate train to Sfax. To the left is the stock of the Tunis
overnight express, to the right is the loco yard with roundhouse and
two GE switchers. The orange GE belongs to a mine near Metlaoui.
|As scenic as it can get in northern Tunisia! DP-151 has crossed one
of the three stone viaducts around Beja with train 12 to Tunis. January
4th, 2002. It takes a one hour hike from Beja station to this fabulous
Rolf Stumpf photo
More DP pictures
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Last update 26.08.2002