(Ecofin Agency) - The government of Morocco plans to more than double its railway network by 2040, reaching a total of 4,410 km of routes from 2,110 km currently. According to the roadmap of the Railways National Office (ONCF), the plan is to make the sector a key component of the country’s economic growth.
In detail, the project aims for 1,100 km of high-speed lines (Marrakech-Agadir, Rabat-Fez, Casa-Marrakech, Fez-Oujda...), 1,600 km of conventional network extension (Tangier-Tetouan, Agadir-Taroudant, Oujda-Nador, Agadir-Laâyoune-Dakhla...), 100 km of port connections. Another 1,610 km of the existing network will also be improved.
In this new configuration, 12 ports (instead of 6 currently) and 15 international airports (instead of 1 currently) will be connected to the rail network. At the same time, the number of cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants that will be connected to the railway by 2040 will reach 43 compared to 23 currently. Nearly 87% of the Moroccan population will be served by the rail network compared to 51% today.
According to estimates, ONCF expects an annual market of 132 million passengers within 20 years against 38.2 million in 2019. The public company also expects an increase in freight handling, from 8.9 million tons in 2019 to 26 million tons by 2040.
This plan requires a total investment of about 375 billion dirhams ($39 billion). It is expected to generate nearly 300,000 jobs.