The Mauritania Railway is the national railway of Mauritania. Construction of the line began in 1960, with its opening in 1963. It consists of a single, 704-kilometre (437 mi) railway line linking the iron mining centre of Zouérat with the port of Nouadhibou, via Fderik and Choum. The state agency Société nationale industrielle et minière (SNIM) controls the railway line.

Since the closure of the Choum Tunnel, a 5 km (3.1 mi) section of the railway cuts through the Polisario Front-controlled part of the Western Sahara (21.354867°N 13.012644°W / 21.354867; -13.012644).

The line was a success and provided a major portion of Mauritania's GDP; as a result, the line was nationalized in 1974.[1] Following Mauritania's annexation of southern Western Sahara in 1976, the line came under constant attack by Polisario militia, effectively putting the line out of use and thereby crippling Mauritania's economy.[1] This played a major role in prompting the army to overthrow Mauritanian President Moktar Ould Daddah in 1978, followed by a withdrawal from Western Sahara the following year. With the line now secure, repairs were conducted and trains starting using it once again in the early 1980s.[1] This railway is unusual for its usage of the Soviet type coupler SA-3, which is quite rare in non ex-Soviet countries.[citation needed]

^ a b c Cite error: The named reference auto was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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Mehdibelhaj - CC BY-SA 4.0
Emesik - CC BY-SA 3.0
Radosław Botev - Attribution
Martin sbg - CC BY-SA 3.0
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