7 Facts and Tips about The Iron Ore Train in Mauritania


1. 18-22 hours journey across the Sahara desert

  • The journey through the Sahara desert on the iron ore train will take approximately 18-22 hours. It starts from the mining town of Zouérat and finishes in Nouadhibou on the coast. Since the train is not running on any timetable it is hard to predict the exact time of the journey.




2. One of the longest trains in the world

  • The iron ore train is one of the longest trains in the world, standing at around 2,5 km long. That means it would take you good 30 minutes to walk from one end to the other.




3. Zouérat - Nouadhibou = Brighton - Glasgow


  • The adventurous journey across the Sahara desert is in total 704 kilometers in length. That is the equivalent distance between Brighton in south England all the way up north, to Glasgow in Scotland.




4. 16.6 million tons of iron ore per year

  • The train consists of 200 to 210 cars, each of which is carrying up to 84 tons of iron ore. The total traffic averages 16.6 million tons per year.




5. Equipment needed for the train journey

  • The journey will be tough. Dust from the iron ore and sand from the Sahara desert will be a few of your enemies on this journey. We recommend that you bring along: Turban; for covering your face, Ski goggles; to cover your eyes, a sleeping bag and gloves to keep warm over the night, and good shoes.




6. It’s hot and it’s cold, It's day and it's night.

  • The temperature during the daytime can get really high. But since we will be making the journey in February the highest temperature we could expect is around 36°C. And drop down to 5°C in the nighttime. So we recommend bringing warm clothes for the journey.




7. No ticket needed

  • The train is not bound to any schedule or timetable. There is no ticked, conductor, or any sort of service. We simply hitch-hike the Train, climb on top of it and enjoy the raw adventure where nothing is between you and the Sahara desert for 20 hours.