The train network in Tunisia just isn't very extensive but much of the major holiday destinations are covered. Trains run between Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, El Jem, Touzeur and Gabes. If you would like to get to Djerba, catch a train to Gabes and require a louage (shared taxi) from that point (about a couple of hours).
If you need to head to Southern Tunisia to view the desert, Matmata and Tatouine, you may take the train where Gabes then either rent a vehicle or utilize the local bus service. Alternatively, go on a train to Tozeur and go to Douz following that.
If you're headed East, a train runs regularly to Gafsa during the country. If you need to check out the North East, trains from Tunis run as much as Ghardimaou and Kalaat Khasba (near the Algerian border). North of Tunis, there are various trains daily to the picturesque port of Bizerte. For TGM information (the suburban train line) between Tunis, Carthage, La Goulette (for ferries to Italy and France) and Sidi Bou Said, scroll for the bottom with the page. For information regarding the tourist train, Lezard Rouge, scroll down.
Booking Your Train Ticket
You can book your train ticket and also pay for it around the SNCTF website, but no bookings can be produced more than 72 hrs in advance of your holiday. The best way to book and fund your train ticket should be to go to a section in person and pay in cash. In the summer, book 72 hours in advance, outside on the tourist season and public holidays, one day before hand should be no problem.
Tunisian railways present you with a 7, 15 and 21-day rail pass called "Carte Bleue". You can decide on any class and you will probably usually have to spend a small supplement for "air conditioning" on long-distance trains. Prices are as follows:
Classe Confort - 7 Day (45 TD), 15 Day (90 TD) 21 Day (135 TD)
First Class - 7 Day (42 TD), 15 Day (84 TD) 21 Day (126 TD)
Second Class - 7 Day (30 TD), 15 Day (60 TD) 21 Day (90 TD)
Confort Class, First Class or Second Class?
Confort class and First class are almost exactly the same with regards to seat comfort and room. The main difference may be the carriage is sort of smaller in Confort Class, so you will find fewer people inside. First class offers slightly bigger seats than second class, they usually recline (that has a thud). There's a somewhat more room for ones luggage inside the roof racks above your face as well. But unless you're traveling for in excess of 4 hours approximately, a second-class seat
would have been a perfectly fine option and help save a little money. All long-distance trains have AC during the entire train.
How Long Is the Train Ride From....
You can check schedules within the SNCFT website. Sample journey times include: From Tunis to Hammamet - 1 hr 20 mins (more frequent trains be nearby Bir Bou Regba) Tunis to Bizerte - 1 hr 50 mins From Tunis to Sousse - couple of hours (Express takes 1 hr 30 mins) From Tunis to Monastir - 2 hrs 30 mins From Tunis to El Jem - 3 hours (Express takes 2 hrs 20 mins) From Tunis to Sfax - 3 hrs 45 mins (Express takes 3 hours) From Tunis to Gabes - 6 hours (Express takes 5 hours) From Tunis to Gafsa - 7 hours From Tunis to Tozeur - 8 hours
What do Train Tickets Cost?
Train tickets are extremely reasonably priced in Tunisia. You have to fund your tickets at the stop in cash or purchase them online in the SNCFT internet site. Children around to 3 yrs old travel free. Children from 4-10 be eligible for a reduced fares. Children over 10 pay full fare. Here are a couple of sample fares in Tunisian Dinar. See the SNCFT website for many fares ("tarifs"). The first number will be the fare for high quality; the second would be the fare for second class. Conforte is going to be just a little over First Class. Tunis to Bizerte - 4/4.8 TD From Tunis to Sousse - 7.6/10.3 TD From Tunis to El Jem - 14/10 TD From Tunis to Sfax - 12/16 TD From Tunis to Gabes - 17.4/23.5 TD From Tunis to Gafsa - 16.2/21.8 From Tunis to Tozeur - 19.2/25.4
Is There Food within the Train?
A refreshment cart makes its way through long-distance trains serving drinks, sandwiches, and snacks. If you're traveling during Ramadan however, bring your personal supply of food ever since the restaurant is probably closed. The trains don't stop with the stations good enough to nip out and get something. TGM - Commuter Train from Tunis to La Goulette, Carthage, Sidi Bou Said and La Marsa. The TGM is incredibly easy to use, runs every 15 minutes or possibly even longer and is extremely cheap. The only drawback is that it gets crowded with commuters. But that's very easy to avoid in the event you hop on after 9 am from the morning and before 5 pm inside the evening. Buy your tickets for the little booth just before on and get which side from the platform you have to be on. Cost - from Sidi Bou Said into Tunis Marine (25 minutes) it's under 1 TD. It makes hardly any difference where seat comfort goes when you travel second or top class. The Marine station in Tunis is all about a 20-minute walk on the main avenue, Habib Bourguiba, to arrive at the walls from the Medina. You can also jump on a tram (Metro Leger) to perform your trains and buses adventure.
Lezard Rouge (Red Lizard) Train
The Lézard Rouge is really a tourist train that runs in Southern Tunisia. The train departs from Metlaoui, a little nondescript town near Gafsa. The train was built within the early 20th Century which is an attraction itself with wood-paneled coaches. The journey goes through some spectacular desert scenery as well as the Selja Gorge to wind up at an oasis. It runs virtually every day between 1 May and 30 September starting about 10 am. The train takes 40 minutes to be able to the oasis and travels a similar way back. Tickets are 20 TD for adults and 12.50 TD for youngsters. Reservations are strongly suggested, call the Tourist Information Office in Tozeur (76 241 469) or book by way of a travel agent.
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