Industry Report

Rail sector in Morocco: a land of opportunity

Morocco’s rail network is currently one of Africa’s most modern networks. The Moroccan National Railways Office (ONCF) has launched a very ambitious development program to set up an industrial unit that will allow train carriages to be manufactured locally, and extend both normal and high-speed networks. Given Switzerland’s experience in the rail sector, Swiss companies operating here are invited to explore Morocco to identify and take advantage of the enormous opportunities that the planned production unit and various network extensions are set to bring.

Secteur ferroviaire au Maroc: Quelles opportunités?

Morocco’s rail network is currently one of Africa’s most modern networks. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) report, Morocco is classed as a leader in competitiveness and quality at the Arab-African level. However, the country’s development is extremely complicated due to its history. The choice of gages, routes and certain decisions with far-reaching consequences, such as electrification, have all often been politically motivated.

There is one main central route that runs from the north to the south, connecting Oujda in the north-east to Marrakesh in the center-south via Fez, Meknes, Rabat and Casablanca. Branch lines then connect the cities of Tangier, Nador, Oued Zem, El Jadida and Safi.

There are two main material maintenance workshops, one in Casablanca (electric traction) and one in Meknes (diesel traction). There are also depots in Marrakesh, Oujda, Sidi Kacem, Rabat and Fez, all of which are well-equipped and capable of ensuring ongoing maintenance.

The Tangier–Casablanca high-speed line via Kenitra and Rabat is Africa’s first HSL. Referred to as the “Atlantic line”, this line will also eventually connect Marrakesh and Agadir. Another HSL will connect the north-east of Morocco (Nador and Oujda) to Rabat via Meknes and Fez, making it easier to access the eastern Rif mountains in Morocco’s east.

The Moroccan Minister of Transport and Logistics has announced the launch of the Marrakesh–Agadir and the Casablanca–Marrakesh high-speed lines. The overall cost is estimated at CHF 10 billion. 1,300 km of high-speed lines and 3,800 km of standard lines are set to be completed by 2040, connecting 43 Moroccan cities.

Switzerland Global Enterprise, the Chambre de Commerce Suisse au Maroc (Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Morocco) and the Swiss embassy in Morocco remain available to these companies to put them in contact with the main stakeholders involved in these rail projects.

Individual Consultation

Contact our consultant to discuss the potential of your products or services as part of the modernization of Morocco’s rail network or for any other queries in relation to North Africa.




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