Morocco speeds up train purchases ahead of World Cup

Morocco speeds up train purchases ahead of World Cup
High Speed Trains in Morocco

Morocco’s National Office of Railways (ONCF) has announced a tender for the acquisition of 168 trains, marking a major step in the country’s preparation for the 2030 World Cup.

The deal, worth an estimated $1.59 billion, includes 150 trains between Intercity, Rapid Shuttle and Mass Transit Services, and 18 trains to extend the use of existing high-speed lines.

In addition, there will be an expansion of the Al Boraq line that Morocco launched in 2018. Hailed as Africa’s first-ever high-speed railway, Al Boraq connects Casablanca to the northern port hub of Tangier, Morocco’s so-called ‘gateway to Europe’ situated a one-hour ferry ride from Tarifa in southern Spain. 

FIFA’s decision to name Morocco, Spain and Portugal as joint hosts of the 2030 World Cup but award Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay the opening three matches has posed a considerable logistical challenge. Investing in rail links between major cities and stadiums was a factor in Morocco’s winning bid.

According to GlobalData analytics, in 2022 and 2023, Morocco completed 12 transport deals worth $737 million, making it the second most active Northern African country in the sector.

Furthermore, according to a report from Spanish outlet La Razón, an underground submarine connection between Morocco and Spain could begin in 2030. The Gibraltar Strait Tunnel project intends to link Casablanca to Madrid. Among North African nations, only Egypt surpasses Morocco in terms of the share of transport deals across the Maghreb region.

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