Trains in Tunisia
Trains in Tunisia are not the most convenient form of transport for tourists. But often there is no alternative, since it is expensive to go by a Tunisian taxi for long distances, and bus routes to the right resort or attractions do not always exist. The movement on Tunisian trains has its pros and cons, which we'll talk about in detail.
Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantage is the low cost of transportation. For example, a ticket from Tunis to Gabes costs 18.2 Tunisian dinars (price 2016), this is 400 kilometers. There are no such low prices in Russia on any railway route.
Another great advantage for tourists is the developed network of railways, which covers most popular resorts and attractions.
The main drawback is a very inconvenient schedule. On one track here go and "long-distance" trains, and local electric trains, in some places there is one track along which the trains run in both directions, and the track itself has different widths on different branches, because of what it is necessary to make additional transplants. As a result, the schedule is "torn". Plan your trip in advance.
Should I use the trains in Tunisia?
Tunisia is the country with the lowest crime rate among all Arab countries. Tunisia is the country with the highest level of education in North Africa. Do not be afraid of trains. Even if you are afraid, buy 1st Class or Class Comfort tickets.
Types of trains and classes of passenger seats
In Tunisia all cars have only seats, here there is no compartment, no reserved seat, or any other berths. Even night trains have only seats. There are 4 classes of seats: 2nd Class, 1st Class, Class Comfort and Class Express. The first three differ in the level of comfort - the distance between the seats.
We recommend that tourists buy only 1st Class or Comfort. In 1st Class, passengers sit on a 2 + 2 scheme (2 chairs on each side of the passage), in Comfort according to the scheme 1 + 2 (one seat to the left of the passage and two chairs to the right). The difference in price is not so great, for example, back to the Tunis-Gabes route, prices: 2nd Class - 18.2 dinars, 1st Class - 24.6 dinars, Comfort - 26.2 dinars.
Since 2008, wagons with several classes are no longer produced. New models of cars have only one class - Class Express, this class is more comfortable than 2nd Class, but worse than 1st Class.
How and where to watch the schedule and buy tickets
All railways in Tunisia are managed by the SNCFT (La Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens) or the National Railroad Tunisia of Tunisia.
Get information on the routes, find out the current timetable and the price of tickets at their official website http://www.sncft.com.tn/. The site has versions in French and Arabic, the English version has been in the status of "Under Construction" for many years.
Using the site is easy. Go to the main page, enter the date of the trip, the point of departure and destination (see the photo on the left, click to enlarge). Press the "confirm" button, in French "valider". The site will provide available route options, and now include an automatic translator, otherwise it's hard to understand something.
Note that the site can calculate routes with transplants. Tickets can be bought online on a bank card, but there are restrictions - tickets are sold only for "long-distance" trains, for local train tickets can only be purchased at the ticket offices.
Children from 0 to 3 years old travel free of charge without providing an individual place. Children from 4 to 9 years old are paid at the rate of 75% of the price of an adult ticket. Children from 10 years go by the full ticket. If you buy a round-trip ticket, you will receive a 15% discount, but the difference between round trip travel should not exceed 10 days.
Also information about routes and prices can be obtained with the help of the Google.Maps service, but we DO NOT RECOMMEND to do so, because in this case no one guarantees the reliability. Use only the official SNCFT website - http://www.sncft.com.tn/.
Let's consider those cases when trains will be useful to tourists.
If you flew to Tunisia yourself (there are such tourists, although there are not many of them), then it is very convenient to travel by train to your resort.
From the city of Tunisia there is a train to Bezerta, 98 kilometers and 1 hour 35 minutes on the way. The cars of this train have seats only 2nd Class.
Further it is necessary to talk about the main railway branch of Tunisia, which runs along the coast (see the map on the right). This branch begins in the city of Tunisia, goes to the south to Hammamet . Then the branch goes to the city of Nabeul , and the main branch goes further south to Sousse .
Important information! If you decide to get to Hammamet or Yasmine Hammamet by train, it's better to take a ticket to Bir Bou Rekba station, not to Hammamet station. The fact that the station Bir Bou Rekba is located before the fork, and the station Hammamet after the fork. To Bir Bou Rekba station and the ticket will cost a little less, and the trains go much more. From the station, take a taxi.
Before Nabeul, Hammamet or Yasmine Hammamet, it is faster and easier to get to the bus , which depart every hour or half an hour from the southern bus station of Tunis.
There are two stations in Sousse. The first one is called Sousse Ville, to get out better on it. However, in some cases it is easier to get off at Sousse Kalaa Sugira station, which is 7.5 kilometers west of the city. See the location of your hotel from where you can take a taxi. The hotels of Port El Kantaoui are easier to get from here, so as not to stand on the slow streets of Sousse.
After Sousse there is another fork. The branch goes east to Monastir and Mahdia . This branch is a completely separate branch, it is necessary to make a transplant. Leave at Sousse Ville station and walk 500 meters to Sousse Bab Jedid station, from here the electric trains leave for Monastir and Mahdia every 30 minutes. The ticket is bought separately.
About this extremely useful for tourists branch read in our detailed article " Subway Sahel ".
The main branch follows further south to the city of Sfax , and further to Gabes. In Gabes, the railway ends. You can not get there by train to the resorts of Zarzis or Djerba . Another resort that can not be reached by train is Tabarka in the west of the country.
Attractions that can be reached by train
If you want to see the sights of another resort, then the train will fit perfectly. For example, you have a rest in Sousse, and you want to see the medina of Hammamet , Sebastian's villa , ride the attractions of Carthage Land or go to the water park Flipper . Get on the train and in an hour you'll be in Hammamet.
By train, you can reach the El Gem Amphitheater, El Jem station is on the main branch in the middle between Sousse and Sfax. You can also reach the park of Phrygia , next to the station Parc Frigia.
Features and advice to tourists
- Not at all stations there are aprons, prepare to go down from the car directly to the ground.
- At the entrance to the cars there are shocks.
- Tickets can be bought at the ticket office 3 days prior to departure.
- All cars of Tunisian trains are equipped with air-conditioning.
- If you do not know where the nearest railway station is, then you simply: sit in a taxi and tell the driver "Gar Ferovje", which in French means "railway station".
Successful travel around Tunisia, and read other useful and informative articles about this country at our site JJ-Tours.ru ( list of links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website