|Low nose MX620|
|MXS624 - last locos ever from Bombardier!|
Tunisia is still a heaven for those wanting to ride behind noisy diesels. Other interesting builders include EMD and GE with massive, mostly unsilenced power.
Thanks go to Phil Wormald for sharing his information to start these pages back in 1996. Meanwhile I have spent altogether three weeks in Tunisia and never have regretted it though it's not as leisurely as in Portugal or Greece when it comes to photography. I always have that strange feeling like in the days of the cold war in eastern Germany.
The cheapest and easiest way to explore the SNCFT is to book a package trip to Sousse or Hammamet where there's only a short distance from the tourist resorts to the railway stations. The carte bleue is a real bargain and costs (as of December 2001) around 40 Euro for the highest class (classe comfort) for one week unlimited rail travel. All you need is a ID picture that will be attached to the carte bleue. Reservations/surcharges are required for the long distance trains and you might want a reservation for overnight trains (no sleepers or couchettes available). Especially when travelling overnight expect full trains even in comfort class with little chance to get to the buffet or the toilet... Surcharges can be paid on the train but if you have the time better queue up.
Taking pictures of trains is tolerated at best at the stations. Often you're told by someone to stop it. I never bothered to argue because you're losing anyway. Getting an official permit seems hopeless so I opted rather to spend the time saved by not trying it with hit-and-run shots at the stations or blend with the crowd - especially in tourist areas this works. Tunis station has a pedestrian bridge across the tracks for great views. Access to the platforms is only granted with a valid ticket, this is also enforced on the larger stations such as Sousse, Sfax and Monastir. Locals don't tend to linger on the platforms so a railfan always sticks out... Trackside photography is mostly possible without problems. Avoid military and industrial areas.
Tunisia January 2000 trip report (.zip-file, 11 k)
Photo galleries from my 2001/02 trip, also other power shown (GE, GM)
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Last update 29.08.2002