MOROCCAN National Railways (ONCF) has issued tenders for the construction of the 375km Kénitra - Marrakech high-speed line.

According to local media reports, construction work has been split into seven packages which vary from 36km to 64km in length. The new line will pass through Rabat, Salé, Casablanca and Marrakech.

The work involves design and construction of the 350km/h railway and its stations, as well as construction of a rolling stock maintenance facility in Marrakech, and the supply of signalling and telecommunications equipment.

The deadline for bids is June 23 2024.

Rabat tunnel

Another tender was announced at the end of March for construction of a 3.3km single-bore tunnel in Rabat for the double-track high-speed line, running from the Bouregreg Valley to Rabat Agdal station. The tunnel will comprise a 2.75km bored section, an open 50m section and a four-track 500m section. Work is expected to take 42 months to complete.

ONCF also recently launched a request for proposals to deliver a technical study of the proposed new 450ha station in the Riad district of Rabat. The studies are expected to take 27 months and the aim is for the station to open in time for the 2030 football World Cup, which Morocco is co-hosting with Spain and Portugal.

The railway announced the allocation of Dirhams 695m ($US 189m) for civil works on the Kénitra - Marrakech line last month and is tendering for a contract to provide environmental and social compliance for the project. ONCF also announced a tender for the supply of 18 high-speed trains for the new line in November as part of a wider package that includes the supply of 168 trains for mainline services.

Egis, France, was appointed as general consultant for the project in 2022, design of which was divided into three packages:

  • Kénitra - Ain Sebaa (150km)
  • Ain Sebaa - Nouaceur (130km), and
  • Nouaceur - Marrakesh (212km).

Morocco’s first high-speed line, the 186km link between Tangier and Kénitra, opened in 2018. ONCF’s Al Boraq service runs at up to 320km/h on this section, continuing at up to 160km/h on the conventional main line to Casablanca. The new high-speed line will extend the service to Marrakech, offering much-improved journey times and enhanced capacity.

Separately, ONCF recently confirmed the award of a contract to undertake the preliminary design of the Marrakech - Agadir high-speed line to China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC),

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