In 2007, France and Morocco signed a strategic partnership agreement to adapt the French TGV system for Morroco and last year the two countries signed contracts worth 65 million dirhams ($US7.73 million) for the building of a high-speed railway linking Tangier with Casablanca. As the first part of a projected network extending 1,500km by 2035, speeds up to 320 km/h are envisaged, slashing journey times from more than five hours to two hours and ten minutes. About 8 million passengers annually are foreseen. The contracts, signed between Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF – the national railway of Morocco) and Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF – the French national railway) also include the design, construction, rolling stock and the maintenance of the line. Morocco’s railway master plan, which reports a 10-15% rise in passenger traffic annually, provides for the construction of 1,500km of high-speed rail lines by 2035, capable of carrying 120 million passengers every year on two main routes.
The “Atlantic link” will run Tangiers-Marrakech-Agadir, while the “Maghreb link” will operate Rabat-Fez-Oujda. Set to launch by 2015, Morocco’s high-speed rail will link Casablanca to the port of Tangier City which is 420 km away. Last week a contract was signed with Alstom to provide 14 trainsets based on the TGV Duplex. Video below.