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Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

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San Francisco
posts: 621
reviews: 2
Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

We are wondering how comfortable the overnight train is, from Marrakech to Tangiers. Are the cots comfortable? Is the temperature good for sleeping? Do they have sleeping rooms for families? Do the conductors come in and bother you a lot? Is the luggage safe? Do you feel every little bump?

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

Costa del Sol
posts: 193
reviews: 10
1. Re: Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

The couchettes in first class (about 27 Euros for a one way trip) are quite comfortable, with four berths in each small compartment, which is good if there are fourinthefamily :)

They have an individual reading light, two sheets, pillow and a blanket. The temperature was OK although the air conditioning does make the room stuffy. The luggage is perfectly safe, going on the racks at the foot of the top bunks, ie at the window end of the compartment.

The conductor shows you to your compartment and takes your tickets from you and returns them in the morning. That will be the only time you see him unless you go to the wc during the night (One at each end of the carriage). Tha train makes a few stops during the night, so if you drop off to sleep unless you are a very sound sleeper I would imagine you would be woken by the sudden jolt of the train as it pulls away. Maybe our driver wasn't very experienced lol.

I didn't sleep particularly well because there was a poor man sharing our compartment who had a stinking cold or more like the flu I thought after catching it from him!! He was sweating and sneezing and coughing all night long. For our return leg we bought all four places in the compartment between the two of us as I didn't want anyone to go through what I did, lying awake knowing you are going to catch this cold from the stranger in your room!!

As the train leaves at 21.00 from Marrakech, rather than eat soemthing before we left I went to McDonalds which is a ten to fifteen minute walk from the station, bought food and milkshakes and stuff and caught a cab back to the station and had a lukewarm feast on the train while waiting for it to pull away from the station.

At Tangier station we had the experience of being caught up in a near stampede. We had got to the station early and sat on the floor near the doors to the platform. As the place filled up we weren´t too concerned. However about an hour before the scheduled time of departure they opened the doors and we were swamped by people surging forward.

Everyone was trying to get through a small door and people were carried along unintentionally amidst a lot of shouting and getting squashed in a situation that threatened to get out of hand! We popped out through the door onto the platform and people were racing past us, obviously trying get a good seat in what I assume is the un-numbered seating in second class compartments.

I would undoubtedly do things differently next time. Firstly I wouldn't get to the station so early. There is a large number of cabs to get you to the train station in ten minutes from anywhere in the centre, so no point arriving too early as there are very few seats at Tangier Station, so 90% of passengers are standing or sitting on baggage waiting for the train.

I would pay extra again to travel first class so as to get the numbered seat or couchette, then stay at the back of the throng and let them fight their way through the doors and then stroll along to your reserved carriage once the masses have fought their way onto the train.

If you are on a budget and have to travel second class, take some bodybuilding classes, stand your ground and good luck!

posts: 1,111
2. Re: Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

Interesting info, anchovy.

When you "bought" the couchette compartment for the two of you, did you have to pay for just the two extra supplements, or did you have to get two extra train tickets as well?

What station in Tangier did you travel through? I know that Morora is very busy, but I've always found Tanger Ville near-deserted when I passed through it.

San Francisco
posts: 621
reviews: 2
3. Re: Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

Thanks so much. This is great information!

I really appreciate it.

Costa del Sol
posts: 193
reviews: 10
4. Re: Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

We must have paid for two more tickets, dysfunctional, as we paid double the fare from our first leg of the journey when we took two couchettes only. There is no discount for buying a return ticket.

We travelled from the new modern station in the suburbs of Tangier. It looks like there are going to be more facilities there in future because the escalators to the upper floors were blocked off as if whatever is going to be upstairs is not ready yet. The cafe is OK though, but small with just a few stools at the bar.

They could do with a left luggage facility, as we had to use the one in the bus station. Mind you, it's worth going to the bus station just to see the chaos and hear the taxi drivers bartering and trying to pick up passengers for kournies out of Tangier. It was noisier than the souks of Marrakech!!

Yarmouth, Maine
posts: 4
reviews: 2
5. Re: Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

Thank you for your post and the replies as it has been very helpful. I will be traveling with my two children ages 7 and 11 from Tangier, after arriving by boat from Algeciras, to Marrakech. I want to take the overnight train and have a couchette. I guess I may have to buy all 4 berths as well as I'm not sure if they allow mixed gender in the couchette(I have a son and a daughter). Glad to hear it is safe. I had planned to go out of the Tangier-Ville station. What I want to know is how to book the ticket ahead of time? I'm assuming the couchettes sell out quickly? If anyone knows how to buy ahead of time or if it is necessary that would be great.

Laurel

posts: 1,111
6. Re: Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

There is no way to book tickets and supplements from abroad.

You can get them from railway stations and travel agents in Morocco, not abroad.

posts: 8
reviews: 3
7. Re: Marrakech to Tangiers - how comfortable is the overnight...

We recently took the 1420 train, arriving around 2300/2400 hours, Tangier to Marrakech so I can't speak for the night train but that train was fine. We took the early morning ferry over from Tarifa (advertised as 35 minutes, closer to an hour) and met up with a tour guide who drove us to buy train tickets so we had them and didn't have to wait in a last minute line, then we spent about 5 hours with him in Tangier. At the last possible moment, he made sure we arrived at the train station and boarded after everyone else, missing the stampede. On our Tangier tour, we were joined by a family that had 3 children same ages as yours and they seemed to get a lot out of the Tangier tour; woudl be a shame to miss and best of all, I thought it was a great acclimation to the chaos that is Marrakech. Abdel-Hamid at tangiertour@yahoo.co.uk