Khlie said that a 30km of the new line has been completed and some test running is already underway on this section. "The works have reached 80% and the technical tests with trains on the high-speed tracks will start at the end of 2017," Khlie said. "We are laying 1km of track each day and 100km of the line will be ready in February-March 2017."

Khlie also revealed details of how the high-speed service will be operated between Casablanca, Rabat and Tangiers. "To achieve the target of 6 million passengers a year, there will a departure every hour from Casablanca and Tangier, with the aim to achieve an average occupancy rate of 70%," Khlie said. Trains will operate either singly with 532 seats or in multiple with 1064 seats.

"We will start sales six months before the entry into service of the TGV for people to book in advance," Khlie added.

The fleet of double-deck trains being supplied by Alstom will operate at a maximum speed of 320km/h on the high-speed line to achieve a Tangiers - Casablanca journey time of 2h 10min compared with 4h 45min today.