Value: $2.9bn

Client

Office National des Chemins de Fer

Tel: (+212) 5 3777 4747

Web: www.oncf.ma

Project Management Consultant

Egis

Tel: (+33) 1 3048 4400

Web: www.egis-group.com

The Tangier-Casablanca high-speed rail project is the first phase of a wider masterplan drawn up for Morocco, as the government looks to reduce travelling times between the kingdom’s major urban centres. The plan is to have all major cities linked by high-speed rail lines by 2030.

Once the first phase is complete, it will take just over two hours, rather than the current four hours and 45 minutes, to travel between Tangier and Casablanca, Morocco’s two largest cities.

The $2.9bn line will be built in two phases. Phase one comprises the track from Tangier to Kenitra, while phase two involves the section between Kenitra and Casablanca.

The scheme started making progress in 2010, when France’s Systra won the project management contract for the civil engineering work on the first phase, awarded by railway operator Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF).

In April 2013, a French-led consortium comprising Colas Rail, Colas Rail Maroc and Egis Rail was awarded the E136m ($177.3m) design-and-build contract for the line between Tangier and Kenitra.

The scope of work covers the construction of the 185-kilometre track, along with overhead wires and two work site facilities.

The work is expected to be completed in late 2015, ahead of the start-up of services in 2016. ONCF has ordered 14 double-deck Alstom Duplex trains equipped to operate at up to 320 kilometres an hour on the new line.

The design-and-build deal follows the E120m contract awarded in early 2013 for the design and supply of signalling and telecommunications equipment to Italy’s Ansaldo STS and France’s Cofely Ineo. Project leader Ansaldo STS will provide European Train Control System
technology, along with the traffic control centre in the capital Rabat.

Meanwhile, the phase two section from Kenitra to Casablanca remains under study.

Key dates

2010: France’s Systra awarded project management consultancy contract

2013: Italy’s Ansaldo STS and France’s Cofely Ineo win contract for the design and supply of signalling and telecommunications equipment

2013: Design-and-build contract awarded to consortium comprising Colas Rail, Colas Rail Maroc and Egis Rail

2015: Work on Tangier-Kenitra line due for completion

2016: Work on second phase expected to commence

Source: MEED