A first foray into Africa with a hastly organised Tunisian trip to sample the various diesel locos which are threatened with new fleets of EMUs and DMUs and especially the Alco ‘DK’ -hauled Tunis suburban services on the Metre Gauge. So at silly o’clock from Birmingham we headed out on a Thomas Cook package deal to our hotel in Sousse but were soon armed with a weeks ‘Carte Bleu’ for the princely sum of 45TND (£20ish) in ‘grand comfort class’ and were ready for the bash across the SNCFT network of both Metre and Standard Gauge.
For the first few days we concentrated on the Metre Gauge whilst we found our feet and then did a few trips out of Tunis on the Standard Gauge which was a total shambles for timekeeping and security as every train was heavily bricked in the very rough Tunis suburbs it passes through so we curtailed the planned moves somewhat. However with a few engines in the book that shouldn’t detract from the much better Metre Gauge, the DKs which are monstrous, DK86/87/88 seemed especially loud and claggy with a number of flaming departures from stations! The long distance trains were all in the hands of “big” GMs which storming along at up to 80mph on the metre gauge was a bit of a beast (and claimed to be the fastest in the world) as were the regular slides into stations on a wet rail as the latter half of the week turned to storm conditions each night.
Full gen for each phot can be found by clicking on the ‘permalink’ in the image, which also goes back to the far superior pre-slideshow WordPress format, and I have attempted to put a bit of gen about each class on one of the photos.