Sousse–Kairouan Decauville railway
|Sousse–Kairouan Decauville railway|
Decauville trains in Sousse
|Line length||64 kilometres (40 mi)|
|Track gauge||600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in)|
The Sousse–Kairouan Decauville railway was a 64 km (40 mi) long 600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in) gauge Decauville military railway from Sousse to Kairouan in Tunisia. It operated from 1882 to 1896, before it was re-gauged to 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in).
History[edit | edit source]
The French army occupied Kairouan in 1881. Pioneers then built the narrow gauge railway from Sousse on the coast to the former capital Kairouan within 3½ months. It ran mainly on an old Roman road.
The open-sided carriages arrived before 1 January 1882 in Sousse. The first train transported wounded soldieres on 3 February 1882 from Kairouan to Sousse. The waggons were initially drawn by horses and later by steam locomotives. The railway was regauged from 600 mm (1 ft 11 5⁄8 in) to 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge in 1896.
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References[edit | edit source]
- Rudolf Barth: Strecke im Wartestand: (Henchir Souatir –) Kasserine – Sbeitla – Kalaa Sghira (– Sousse).
- Victor Cambon (1852-1927): De Bone à Tunis, Sousse et Kairouan. 2nd edition, 1885 and Collection XIX, 2016.
- Michael Greenhalgh: The Military and Colonial Destruction of the Roman Landscape of North Africa, 1830-1900. Brill, 2014. Page 201.
- François Gressin, Liliane Sekula and Daniel Wurmser: Paul Decauville on a Type 67 waggon, which was subsequently delivered before 1 January 1882 to Sousse. In: Bulletin des Amis du Musée Decauville, No 26/27, March 2003. Page 24.
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