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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Alstom lands 'very high speed' contract to develop Tangier-Casablanca rail link

At an Oct. 22 contract-signing ceremony, a "frame agreement" between the Kingdom of Morocco and France revealed that Alstom had won a pact to design, manufacture, operate and maintain what Alstom terms a "very high speed" Tangier-Casablanca rail link.

Development of the 124-mile Tangier-Kenitra section will form the project's first phase; the link, which will be used by trains running at speeds up to 198.4 mph, is scheduled to be in operation by 2013, Alstom said in a prepared statement. Alstom also will deliver 18 Duplex double-deck train sets.

The Moroccan railway master plan calls for building 930 miles of rail lines by 2035. The lines will have the capacity to carry 120 million passengers on two routes: the Tangier-Marrakech-Agadir "Atlantic link" and the Rabat-Fez-Oujda "Maghreb link." Once the lines are complete, Morocco will be the first African country to feature rail transport infrastructure using the same high-speed standards as in France, Alstom said.

Meanwhile, Alstom also inked a contract with Moroccan National Railways to provide 20 new-generation, high-traction-power Prima electric locomotives, which will be used from 2010 throughout the Moroccan network at speeds up to 74.4 mph for freight operations and 99.2 mph for passenger service. Alstom also will maintain the locomotives for two years.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/23/2007