Morocco issues High-Speed Rail Tender ahead of FIFA 2030 World Cup Co-hosting

Krishtina D'Silva Posted on: 2024-04-05 07:12:00 Viewer: 3,556 Comments: 0 Country: Morocco City: Kenitra

Morocco issues High-Speed Rail Tender ahead of FIFA 2030 World Cup Co-hosting

Kenitra, Morocco (Urban Transport News): As Morocco gears up to co-host the FIFA 2030 World Cup, the North African nation has announced a pivotal step in its transportation infrastructure development by issuing a tender for a high-speed rail link. This initiative is part of Morocco's ambitious $37 billion strategy aimed at enhancing connectivity across its cities, ports, and airports through an extensive railway network.

The national rail operator, ONCF, has invited companies to participate in the construction of a 375-kilometer high-speed rail line, spanning from Kenitra on the northwest coast to Marrakech in the south. Divided into seven lots ranging between 36 kilometers and 64 kilometers, the project is set to traverse major metropolitan areas including Rabat-Salé, Casablanca, and Marrakech.

The tender encompasses the design and construction of a state-of-the-art railway infrastructure capable of accommodating trains traveling at speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour. Additionally, it includes the development of stations, signaling systems, telecommunications infrastructure, and the establishment of a maintenance center in Marrakech.

Interested companies have until June 23 to submit their proposals to ONCF, marking a crucial deadline in the bidding process for this transformative project.

According to the "International Railway Journal," ONCF had previously appointed construction engineering specialist Egis as the general consultant for the project in 2022, signaling a concerted effort towards ensuring the successful execution of this monumental undertaking.

The high-speed rail line forms a pivotal component of Morocco's comprehensive $37 billion plan aimed at modernizing its rail network. This ambitious scheme seeks to interconnect 43 cities and generate an estimated 300,000 jobs by 2040.

With aspirations to significantly enhance accessibility, the plan aims to increase rail transport accessibility to 87 percent of the population by 2040, a significant leap from the current coverage of just over 50 percent.

Presently, Morocco's rail network spans 1,200 kilometers, serving passengers through approximately 120 stations and facilitating freight transport through 15 stations.

In addition to the high-speed rail initiative, several Moroccan cities, including Agadir, Fez, Marrakech, and Tangier, have unveiled plans to introduce tram or light rail lines, further bolstering urban mobility and connectivity.

The announcement of the high-speed rail tender comes on the heels of ONCF's intention to procure 168 trains, including 18 high-speed vehicles, with delivery scheduled between 2027 and 2030. These enhancements underscore ONCF's commitment to upgrading rail services in anticipation of Morocco's role as a co-host of the FIFA 2030 World Cup.

In conclusion, Morocco's issuance of the high-speed rail tender marks a significant stride towards modernizing its transportation infrastructure, enhancing connectivity, and reinforcing its status as a global hub for major sporting events.

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