Difficult 17-hour trip by train in Mauritania
• The difficult 17-hour trip by train in Mauritania
July 29, 2014 Mining Company of SNIM, in the State of Mauritania (Africa) reported that they intend in 2014 to produce 13 million tons of iron ore. That is a lot of iron. Most of the iron ore deposits in the north of the African continent is in its vast deserts, which are isolated from the delivery on the coast of the main ports. As the ore will be delivered to the ports, and the workers, who come from all over the world in search of work, get to the mines? They sit on the train, of course ...
The journey begins in Nouadhibou, the second largest city in Mauritania and a major trading port.
The huge ships moored in the port of Nouadhibou from around the world to pick up cargo. Nouadhibou is also the place to find shelter abandoned and decommissioned ships. Nouadhibou is known as the largest ship graveyard in the world.
In the western part of Nouadhibou begins Mauritania Railway. Hence, rails lead deep into the desert, 700 kilometers.
Every day, about 100 people sit on the train, which is technically not even intended for the transport of persons. At the end of the train is usually charged with a couple of old cars. Tickets cost four dollars for a passenger train.
Modern technology has not yet reached here, so book a ticket on the train is not possible. People just sit on the train, where and pay for travel.
People come here from all over the world in search of work. This person, business officials from China. Last year, 76% of all exports of Mauritanian iron was associated with deliveries to China.
Railway train is the only way to get to the eastern cities of the desert in Mauritania.
The train can reach up to 2, 5 kilometers in length, making it one of the longest train in the world.
The travelers experience extreme temperatures during the trip. The cars can be very hot in the sun in the middle of the day and when the sun goes down, the train gets very cold.
Railway train rides through the desert to the city of Zouerate.
After 17 difficult hours, the passengers finally reach Zouerate, the largest city in northern Mauritania and the country's largest iron ore deposits.
The workers and their families live near the mines. Zouerate residents like to call their city "easy economy of Mauritania".
In the city is now home to 38,000 residents. Most of them work in one of three mines in the area.
Mines dominate the landscape. It dwarfs the city to the north-east.
Only in Zouerate in the first six months of 2013 were produced 6.7 million tons of iron.
Right on schedule, the train departs from Zouerate every day, filled with iron ore and people going back to Nouadhibou.