24 January 2014

Morocco: Marrakech - HM the King Launches Large-Scale Railway Projects

Marrakech — The railway line linking Casablanca and Marrakech has been strengthened thanks to several projects launched by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and which aim to provide this major route with modern infrastructure to help it accommodate substantial traffic flow in safety and comfort.

The Sovereign launched on Friday several projects aimed at upgrading the Settat -Marrakech route (2nd phase) and developing the railway station of Marrakech, as part of the (2010 -2015) contract program signed between the State and the National Railways Office (ONCF).

The 5 billion-dirham projects illustrate, once more, the high interest of His Majesty the King in developing the transport sector, considered key for local development, economic activity, and the well-being of the population.

The second phase of the development project of the Settat-Marrakesh line includes track doubling of the entire existing railway (140 km), the construction of the platform and two 350-long viaducts, laying equipment (track and catenary), and enhancing electrical sub-stations.

This project, which cost a sum of $ 1.8 billion dirhams, will help meet the growing demand for passenger and freight transport, ensure better and regular railway traffic flow. Travel time is expected to decrease by 45 minutes between Marrakech and Casablanca, and daily offer will be gradually expanded to 60 trains in the medium term against 18 currently.

The project will also serve the future logistics platforms of Sidi Ghanem and Sidi Bouathmane.

This project whose first phase (600 million dirhams) was launched in November 2012 by HM the King, was completed in December 2013, and will contribute to the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs during the construction period, and hundreds of permanent jobs by 2017.

As for the urban development project of the railway station of Marrakech, it is part of the stations revamping master plan implemented in various cities in the Kingdom. spanning over 39 hectares, this project provides for the construction of a new multi-purpose urban center, including a residential area, commercial compounds, hotels, offices and parks.

Worth some 3 billion dirhams, this project will be carried out through the relocation of industrial activities (freight and maintenance) to the sites of Sidi Sidi Ghanem and Bouathmane. The project will be ready by 2022.

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