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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 30 May 2010
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Loading vehicles on the Nouadhibou-Choum (-Zouerat) train

Hi,

Has anyone tried recently loading vehicles on the Nouadhibou-Choum (-Zouerat) train?

- Lonely planet West Africa guide states that is has be organised 72 hours in advance. Anyone confirms?

- Can I load the vehicle both in the Nouadhibou-Choum and Choum- Nouadhibou direction?

- Where do I go to take care of the reservation (buy tickets)? Can I do it in Choum? Or is Nouadhibou the only option?

- Can both 4WD and motorcycles be loaded?

- What is the expected price per motorcycle and 4WD? LP states that it costs UM23'000 to UM46'000, depending on the vehicle.

Of course, the other option is to ride/ drive route R2 of Chris Scott book

Thank you and Best Regards
Luis Cabrita
Portugal
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Old 31 May 2010
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I have not heard of anybody putting their car on the train since they built the new NDB-NKT road. Before that to avoid the old beach route 2WDs would train to Choun and then piste-road south down to NKT.
Now no need. The LP seems out of date.

With a 4WD for sure take the R2 piste, or even the road down and up. Much less hassle and expense.

Ch

(Route R2)
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  #3  
Old 31 May 2010
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We actually did it last summer, from Noudhibou to Choum, with two 2wd's (Mercedes 200D).

We just asked the clerk at the passenger terminal, and he pointed us to some big depot, near the railway. They told us to return next morning for the big boss (nice guy) to be available. It took some bargaining with him, and in the end we had to buy the whole carriage for 180 euro (if memory serves me correctly).

Next, we had to wait all day at the marshalling yard before they were ready loading all their stuff like potatoes on board. We set off at night and woke up next day day half an hour from Choum, where two guys helped us get the cars of the carriage in the middle of the dessert. The ride was very shaky. Fortunately, they secured everything pretty well...

I imagine it would be more difficult to arrange the other way around, as the guys in choum seem to have less resources in terms of equipment and such.

There's no such thing as reservations or tickets and if you're lucky like us, you can just 'check in' in the morning and leave whenever they're ready to go!

All in all, I thought it went pretty smooth for a first try. Good luck!
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Old 1 Jun 2010
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Thanks for the update Ricky, now we know.
180eu for a flatbed which I presume took both cars is not so bad.

I presume you were heading on to Mali to sell and did the train just for the adventure.

The LP quoted rates above work out at 66-132 euro per vehicle which seems about the same.

Luis was asking me if R2 could be ridden by an AT rider with limited off-road experience and an R1150GSA (+ accompanying 4x4).

I have only driven R2 but both those bikes are tanks in the sand, even without a load. Even getting up between the rails would be tough.
I suspect the AT would be much better, but much depends on tyres and assertive riding over the dune cordons. As a first piste in Mori I think I would rather take the train and save my collarbones for later. On normal Adrar pistes those bikes will be fine.


Ch
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  #5  
Old 1 Jun 2010
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Hi Luis,


A quick reply:

- Lonely planet West Africa guide states that is has be organised 72 hours in advance. Anyone confirms?

Probably. There are no fixed timetables for transporting cars; you'll have to show up and ask when the next transposting cars is leaving

- Can I load the vehicle both in the Nouadhibou-Choum and Choum- Nouadhibou direction?

Yes

- Where do I go to take care of the reservation (buy tickets)? Can I do it in Choum? Or is Nouadhibou the only option?

On both. Just show up at the station and ask around

- Can both 4WD and motorcycles be loaded?

Yes

- What is the expected price per motorcycle and 4WD? LP states that it costs UM23'000 to UM46'000, depending on the vehicle.

Don't have an idea


Of course, the other option is to ride/ drive route R2 of Chris Scott book

This is definitely the best option!!!!! Unless you are in a 2WD and you want to preserve the car, the best option is to cover the piste that run along side the railway.

Cheers,
José
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  #6  
Old 30 Nov 2013
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Has anyone been on this train recently?
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