Morocco opens high-speed railway

20 November 2018
High-speed line linking Morocco’s two major cities cost approximately €1.8bn

National Office of Moroccan Railways (ONCF) has inaugurated North Africa’s first high-speed train, which links the cities of Tangier and Kenitra in Morocco.

The high-speed line required a budget of approximately €1.8bn ($2.1bn).

The service launched comprises of a 183 kilometre high-speed line between Tangier and Kenitra as well as a 137km upgraded conventional line from Kenitra to Casablanca.

Trains on the Tangier-Kenitra line are understood to have a top speed of 320km/h, while trains on the upgraded Kenitra-Casablanca line can run up to 220 km/h.

The new service is expected reduce the travel time between the port city of Tangier in northwestern Morocco and Casablanca from five hours to two hours and 10 minutes.

MEED understands additional funding was required as the project generated more costs than expected during construction.

In October last year, ONCF, the project client, received an additional €80m ($94m) of funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) for the project.

The additional funding has brought AFD’s project contribution to €300m, and French companies’ overall contribution to more than €1bn.

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development also provided $140m in financing.

The Tangier-Casablanca high-speed line, called Al-Boraq, comprises the first stage of the country’s master plan to develop a network of high-speed lines.

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