November the 15th HRH King Mohammed VI of Morocco, French President Emmanuel Macron and Ansaldo STS representatives inaugurated the Tangier – Kenitra High Speed Line (HSL), the first HSL of the Moroccan Kingdom and the first ever of the African continent.
The inauguration represents a critical milestone in the close and fruitful collaboration between Ansaldo STS and ONCF teams. A cooperation which actively contributes to the national program of railway modernization of the Kingdom.
Equipped with the latest generation of signalling technology designed and maintained by Ansaldo STS, the 200 km High Speed Line will bridge Casablanca and Tangier, the two major economic centres of the Kingdom, reducing travel time between the two cities as well as promoting the development of a local railway ecosystem.
The scope of our company, which leads the consortium along with Ineo/Engie group, encompasses: design and implementation of the ETCS Level 1 & Level 2 signalling technology and related equipment; implementation of the Operational control center (OCC) located in Rabat, Moroccan Capital.
In terms of figures ONCF expects around six million passengers using the new HSL after three years of operation. The cost of LGV, financed 50% by France via various loans, amounts to about €2 billion (23 billion Dirhams), nearly 15% more than initial estimates, but well below average European costs, according to the Moroccan Ministry of Transport.
Since the beginning of the new era of High Speed Rail Line in Europe, Ansaldo STS has been innovating and implementing advanced signalling solutions that meet the increasing global requirement for sustainable and interoperable transportation solutions.
“The remarkable milestone achieved today represents vividly our great commitment to the improvement of Morocco mobility, and therefore to the whole African continent. Thanks to the new line we will contribute to the modernization of national transports towards sustainable and multimodal mobility. Thousands of passengers will directly benefit from our dedication to successfully deliver our products worldwide. Ansaldo STS, as member of the Hitachi family, will continue to work to improve its vast array of cutting edge technologies. I want to thank the Moroccan authorities for the trust and support granted throughout the years, our strong partner ONCF for the long and fruitful cooperation and our colleagues who hard worked to achieve such result,” declared Andy Barr, CEO and General Manager of Ansaldo STS.
The new HSL will bridge the main cities of the kingdom reducing considerably the travel times. For instance the Tangier – Kenitra connection will take around 47 min instead of 3h15 with conventional line. From Tangier will be possible to reach Rabat in around 1h20 (instead of 3h45), Casablanca in 2h10 (instead of 4h45) and Marrakech in 4h45 (instead of 10H).