06 April 2023
The Tunis RFR (Rapid Rail Network) welcomed its first passengers on 20 March 2023, marking the culmination of a 13-year assignment for SYSTRA to improve services in the Tunisian capital.

It is called ‘Line E’, but it is the first line in the new suburban rail network that Tunisians have been able to use since spring 2023. This new service to the south-western districts of the capital will initially link the centre of Tunis to Sidi Hassine Séjoumi, from Barcelone station to Bougatfa station. Eventually, the whole of Greater Tunis will be connected to the RFR.

From 2007 to 2023, SYSTRA led the project management consortium with Studi, under the supervision of the SNCFT, the county’s national railway company, with cross-financing from the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the French Development Agency (AFD). The key to the project is a complete assignment, which began in 2010, for the control and monitoring of the implementation, in coordination with all the project participants and in close collaboration with the project owner. The inauguration took place in the presence of Rabie Majidi, the Tunisian Minister of Transport.

This is a new suburban transport project in Africa led by SYSTRA, which is being launched one year after the Dakar TER project. This is an essential line for the mobility of Tunisians, as the road networks are saturated and demand for the 8km – 15km zones on the outskirts of the city centre clearly exceeds supply at peak times. The RFR is sustainable because it is electric, has the highest level of safety, is reliable and efficient. It will redistribute transport supply around stations and reduce air and noise pollution in urban areas. We look forward to working with SNCFT again in the coming years.

Michel Aribi, Tunis RFR Project Director

The inaugural train left Bougatfa station at 4.40pm for Tunis, with officials and residents of Sidi Hassine on board.

SYSTRA provided the RFR with its expertise in suburban railways, with state-of-the-art solutions such as ETCS-1 signalling, GSM-R telecommunications, a 25,000-volt power supply and a centralised control station. The overhead section was built with two pre-stressed U-shaped viaducts of more than one kilometre in length, reducing the amount of concrete used while giving the Tunisian authorities the benefit of a patented structure with internationally recognised qualities.

The inaugural train in Tunisian colours

Key features – Line E of the Tunis RFR

Entire network

  • 5 lines (A, C, D, E and F)
  • 85km
    Line E:
  • 18.4 km
  • 13 stations
  • Tunis – Ezzouhour – Zahrouni – Séjoumi
  • Phase 1:
  • 9km (Tunis – Barcelone to Bougatfa)
  • 7 stations: Tunis, Saida Manoubia, Annajah, Etayaran, Ezzouhour, Hrairia, Bougatfa
  • 2,408 passengers per train, 1 train every 7 minutes
  • 28 trains ordered
  • Average speed of 35 – km/h
  • Major structures:
    • Tunnel de Saida Manoubia (280m)
    • Maintenance studio at Sidi Fathallah
    • Power supply station at Gobaa (La Manouba)

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