The Maghreb kingdom of Morocco is making rapid progress with the construction of its high-speed network, just like its role model, the French TGV. The target is completion of a route network of 1,500 km by 2035.
Two main lines are planned – an “Atlantic line” of about 900 km length (Tangier-Rabat-Casablanca-Marrakesh-Agadir) and a “Maghreb line” of about 600 km length (Rabat–Meknès–Fès–Oujda).
Atlantic line to export port
The new Tangier-Kenitra line has the purpose of relieving the existing winding lines between Casablanca/Rabat and Tangier which are heavily utilised. The high-speed “Al Boraq” train – a name given to it by the Moroccan king – reaches a commercial speed of about 320 km/h between Tangier and Kenitra; a top speed of 357 km/h was measured during test runs.
A third track will be added to the existing double-track line from Kenitra to Casablanca by 2020. As soon as this can be used over its complete length, the existing tracks will be replaced so that the top speed can be increased to 220 km/h. This will reduce the journey time between the two economic centres of Casablanca and Tangier, which are 350 km apart, from originally about five hours to just over two hours on “Africa’s fastest line,” as it is also known.
The railways in Morocco are operated by the state-owned Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF). Morocco has a well-developed rail network.
The backbone of the 2,100 km long railway network is the line running from Oujda at the Algerian border via Fès and Casablanca to Marrakesh with several spurs branching off it. More than 1,000 km of track is electrified.
Two high-speed lines are planned for the high-speed network: from Tangier via Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakesh to Agadir and from Rabat via Fès to Oujda.