In a move that is sure to have a positive effect on future prices of Tangier properties, Morocco’s state railway company are planning to invest millions of Euros in a new high speed rail network. Initially, the massive investment project will link the vibrant port city of Tangier to Casablanca which is a major centre for commerce and industry.
Work is scheduled to start this year on the new rail link. When complete, Moroccan Sands expects prices of Tangier properties to increase due to demand from wealthy citizens of Casablanca looking for second homes in the north of the country. It can be confidently expected that the high speed line will see greater numbers of visitors passing through Tangier’s ferry port, further adding to the local economy.
The company also envisage that the improved transport links to the rest of Morocco will encourage more international corporations to join the growing numbers of businesses locating in Tangiers free zone, thus further fuelling the demand for quality new-build Tangier properties.
This is the first phase of a project costing 100 billion Moroccan Dirhams (10 billion Euros). The project aims to increase rail usage from its present level of 52 million passengers, to 133 million by 2030.
According to Morocco’s state railway company (ONCF) Director Strategy & Development, Azzedine El Amraoui, the new line is required to increase Morocco’s network capacity and tackle congestion on existing routes.
He went on to explain: “Building these lines for high speed operation will improve the network’s competiveness and support the increasing demands for mobility in a sustainable way”. When complete, the 1500 km network would comprise two main corridors: The Atlantic route connecting Tanger, Casablanca and Marrakech with Agadir and Laâyoune, and the Maghreb line from Rabat to Fès, Oujda and potentially Alger. El Amraoui continued: “The new rail lines will improve links between the north and south of the country, encourage economic development and support the tourist industry, as well as facilitating international integration”.
Construction work on the Tangier – Casablanca section of line is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2009, with the first two sections of 320km route totalling 370km to be completed by 2015.
The introduction of a high speed line will cut the Casablanca - Tangier journey time from 5 hours to 2 hours 10 min. The new line is expected to handle 8 million passengers per year.