After the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed line inaugurated in November 2018, Morocco is taking the next step in its extension plan, which includes connecting the cities of Marrakech and Agadir.
The Chinese group China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC), a subsidiary of China State Railway Group, has been selected to build the high-speed lines linking Marrakech and Agadir, a project budgeted at around 50 billion dirhams (almost 5 billion USD).
The company had been chosen in July 2023 to lead the preliminary design studies for this network, following a call for tenders by the Office National des Chemins de Fer.
The infrastructure covers 230 km of track, serving 3 stations, namely Sidi Zouine, Chichaoua and Agadir. Its implementation will reduce travel time between the two cities to 1 h 20 minutes.
The project is part of a wider ONCF plan to build 1,300 km of high-speed lines and 3,800 km of conventional rail lines.
According to the Moroccan authorities, these projects will establish a better interconnection between the north and south of the country, opening up the Saharan regions and revitalizing the economy and tourism.
In particular, they will link 43 Moroccan towns and cities, compared with 23 at present, raising the national coverage rate of rail transport services to 87%, compared with 51% at present.