Started back in 2014, TGV’s high speed trains are set to open in Spring 2018. The connections from Marrakech will be faster and more efficient than ever.
Current operations are focused mainly between Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier with duplex double-decker trains that reach a speed of 320km/h (200mp/h). With these speeds, it will see passengers going from Casablanca to Tangier in just over 2 hours – incredible when you compare it to the current almost 5-hour journey time!
This plan extends to 2020, by then travel time between Casablanca and Tangier is expected to be a mere 1 hour and 30 minutes. Not forgetting Marrakech, which will only take 2 hours and 45 minutes to get all the way to Tangier.
New plans have also been revealed by ONCF for an “Atlantic line”: Tangier-Casablanca-Marrakech-Essaouira-Agadir, and a “North Line”: Casablanca-Rabat-Fez-Oujda. By car, it currently takes almost 5 hours to get from Casa to Agadir at a round-figure cost of $60 including tolls. If you want to take the train or bus, you’re looking at an approximate time of nine hours for just under $20. And what about an aeroplane? Well give up around $80 and you can get there in 3 hours from Casa.
One thing is for sure, ONCF will need a competitive yet profitable price in comparison to an aeroplane, but with the cost of the works looking to be up to 2.5billion USD, is that possible?
Have a look at one of the trains being tested here:
With all of these developments happening, it’s no wonder that Morocco was ranked number one in the African and Arab region for railway infrastructure as well as 55th at a global level.
Some have speculated that the 25 billion dirhams would have been better spent elsewhere. It has been said that for every 10 metres of TGV track built, that’s one less school in Morocco.
Despite the country being at the centre of international development, its high illiteracy rates and wide social divide leaves the question; will this new high speed train really benefit all Moroccans?
Let us know what you think in the comments below!