Africa Gets Its First High-Speed Rail: Morocco Inaugurates Train Route Connecting Tangier To Casablanca

Africa Gets Its First High-Speed Rail: Morocco Inaugurates Train Route Connecting Tangier To CasablancaThe newly introduced high-speed rail in Morocco (Facebook)

Morocco has opened its first high-speed rail line that connects the country’s industrial hub of Tangier with its commercial hub of Casablanca, Railway Technology has reported.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Morocco's King Mohammed VI inaugurated Africa's first high-speed train line last Thursday (16 November).

The construction of the line commenced in 2011 and was completed at the cost of nearly $2.4 billion. The project was funded by the governments of Morocco, France, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE.

The high-speed trains will run at a speed of 320 km per hour on the 180 km section from Tangier to Kenitra and will operate at a much reduced 160 km/h on the 200 km section between Kenitra and Casablanca.

The newly launched high-speed rail service will reduce journey time from four hours and 45 minutes to two hours and ten minutes.

To operate the high speed line, Morocco’s national railway operator procured 12 high-speed trains from French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom. Avelia Euroduplex train sets are capable of carrying 533 passengers.

Tangier-Casablanca route is expected to generate a sharp increase in passenger numbers and provide fillip to tourism, boost wider economic growth in the cities, and recoup the investments made.

Morocco has recently embarked upon some ambitious infrastructure projects including the world's largest solar power plant, high speed trains and several major ports to stimulate a sluggish economy.