Africa’s fastest train launched in Morocco

French President Emmanuel Macron and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI inaugurated Africa’s first high-speed train line on 15th November 2018.

The fastest train in Africa is in Morocco. It was inaugurated last Thursday, November 15, in the renovated station of Tangiers by King Mohammed VI in the company of French president Emmanuel Macron. The two were on board the first trip from
Tangiers, the administrative capital. Known as the Tangier-Casablanca line, it has a total length of 350 km, which is set to connect the two most dynamic regions of the kingdom in about 2 hours 10 minutes instead of the hitherto 4 hours 45 minutes.

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Route map of the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed rail line. Image courtesy of Classical Geographer.

According to the Moroccan Ministry of Transport, fifty percent of the project was financed by France through various loans, estimated at €2 billion, almost 15% more than the initial estimates, but well below the average European costs.

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Quick facts about the train

  • The high-speed train is projected to run at 320km (198 miles) per hour.
  • It slashes the Casablanca-Tangier journey to over half the normal time 2:10 from 4:45. The distance is 200km (124 miles).
  • It is around twice the speed of the second fasted train. South Africa’s high-speed Gautrain linking Johannesburg’s international airport to the city’s financial district Sandton.
  • According to state news agency MAP, it cost 22.9 billion dirhams ($2.4bn; £1.8bn).
  • The line took seven years to construct.
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Passengers all turn to look at ONCF TGV Duplex set 1210 passing Kenitra Medina with a Kenitra to Tanger driver-training run on January 6.

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