The Mauritania Railway: Backbone of the Sahara

This train is nearly 3-kilometers in length. It's among one of the longest and heaviest in the world.

Rummaging through old Vimeo Staff Picks during some downtime this morning, I came across this beautiful short. Miguel de Olaso, (aka Macgregor), is a Spanish filmmaker who typically specializes in high-speed racing filmography, commercials and short-films.

He has a knack for the unique camera movements and well-paced storytelling. I have a deep fascination and love for locomotives and foreign lands — so naturally this film was an absolute treat for the eyes.

Despite being rich in natural resources such as iron, gold and copper, Mauritania maintains a severely depressed GDP. Their primary transportation network is a single railway that pretty much dissects their country (across a portion of the Sahara that borders several other countries). In many ways, Mauritania’s economic future seems dim. But in other respects, it represents the tenacity of a growing, natural resource-rich nation and their relationship with their lifeline — The Mauritania Railway.

You can read more about the making of this short, here. Absolutely nuts. Enjoy!

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