Al-Boraq, the first high speed rail in Africa was inaugurated by King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron, following over a decade of planning and construction by Moroccan national railway company ONCF.
About Al-Boraq’ Africa’s First High Speed Rail
It is a 323-kilometre-long (201 mi) high-speed rail service that connects the northern port of Tangier with the capital, Rabat, and the main commercial hub, Casablanca.
The $2 billion project was launched in September 2011 by the king and Nicolas Sarkozy, then president of France.
Macron regarded the train line as a “flagship project of the bilateral relationship between France and Morocco.
France financed 51% of the project, Morocco financed 28% and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates financed the other 21%.
The 225-mile journey takes 2 hours 10 minutes, with trains capable of reaching 186mph. Previously services took more than twice as long. This is double the speed of South Africa’s Gautrain, launched in 2012, which falls short of the criteria for high-speed rail.
King Mohammed VI named the high-speed service Al Boraq (البُراق), in reference to the mythical creature that transported the Islamic prophets, notably the prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem during the night journey.
Quick facts about the train
It slashes the Casablanca-Tangier journey to over half the normal time 2:10 from 4:45. The distance is 200km (124 miles).
It is around twice the speed of the second fasted train. South Africa’s high-speed Gautrain linking Johannesburg’s international airport to the city’s financial district Sandton.
According to state news agency MAP, it cost 22.9 billion dirhams ($2.4bn; £1.8bn).