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Morocco’s Controversies: Africa’s Fastest Railway System, Funds Used Could Have Been Better Spent On Country

Africa’s railroad framework is going to get a noteworthy redesign with the dispatch of its newest quickest invention.

Specialists in Morocco are trying trains equipped for achieving 200mph – the best speed of the Eurostar – cutting voyage times between the nation’s key financial center points by very nearly 66%.

The 215-mile travel from Casablanca to Tangier by means of the capital city of Rabat will now take a little more than two hours, instead of five, when the administration dispatches next summer.

Amid testing on Monday, one prepare achieved 170 mph along an extend of track between the northern urban communities of Kenitra and Tangier, it was uncovered.

“This is already the fastest train on the African continent,” announced French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was in Morocco to sign a €2 billion (£1.7bn) loan deal between the French Development Agency and Morocco’s national railway operator, the ONCF.

He said the railway, dubbed the LGV and 50 per cent financed by France, was “emblematic of the Franco-Moroccan bilateral relationship”.

According to the latest figures, the project is set to go around 15 per cent over budget, but ONCF head Rabii Lakhlii said the project had still cost “less than €9 million euros per kilometre (£13million per mile), compared to a European standard of €20 million euros per kilometre”.

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The route, first mapped out in 2005, was made more complex by hilly terrain and strong winds and required the building of several viaducts including some more than two miles long.

The high-speed trains will be supplied by French conglomerate Alstom, 14 in total, each capable of carrying 533 passengers.

The ONCF expects the line to attract six million traveler within its first three years, with other expansions in the North African country planned for the next three decades.

It currently costs in the region of 136-261 Moroccan Dirham (£11-£21) to take the line all the way from Casablanca to Tangier on the ONCF’s existing service, and Mr Lakhlii said that tickets will cost about 30 per cent more when the LGV rolls out.

Moroccan leaders have heralded the project as a key step in modernising the country’s infrastructure.

But opponents say the project, which has been under construction for six years, unfairly favoured French companies when handing out contracts.

Critics have additionally contended that the cash, the aggregate cost of which is around €2 billion, could have been exceptional spent in a nation where many live in neediness.Morocco – which picked up its independance from France in 1956 – has a gross national salary of only 26,800MAD (£2,159) per capita, as per the World Bank.

Supporters contend, in any case, that if the new fast railroad prevails with regards to drawing in more sightseers, it will help what is as of now a standout amongst the most lucrative divisions in the Moroccan economy.

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