Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated on Thursday Morocco’s first high-speed rail line, the first ever such line in Africa.
The project required an investment of USD2.3 billion of which 51 percent was financed by France, 27 percent by Morocco and 22 percent by four sovereign Gulf funds.
The Moroccan and French leaders boarded the train in Tangier after they were handed tickets by Director General of the National Railway Office Mohamed Rabie Khlie, according to State agency MAP.
The new railway linking Casablanca to Tangier through Rabat and Kenitra will be a landmark in the field of road transportation of passengers in Morocco.
The French president arrived Wednesday in Tangier Airport in a short visit to Morocco, in which the Elysee statement revealed that Macron is committed to another event in Paris during the same day.
This achievement required 11 years to be completed since sealing the agreement in 2007 during a visit to Morocco by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy – construction works commenced in 2011 because the project was supposed to be inaugurated in 2015.
The high-speed train can run up to 320km/h reducing the journey time from Tangier to Kenitra then up to 180km/h between Kenitra, Casablanca passing through Rabat.
According to Morocco’s National Railway Office (ONCF), the trip duration between Tangier and Kenitra will be reduced from 3.15 hr to only 47 minutes thanks to Al Boraq. As for the trip duration from Rabat to Tangier then it will become 1.20 hr instead of 3.45 hr. Once the railway is fully completed in 2020, the trip duration between Rabat and Tangier will take one hour only. After the trip from Casablanca to Tangier was 4.45 hr, it will become 2.10 hr and in 2020 only 1.30 hr.