Following on from the success of the first high-speed railway line in Africa, the Tangier–Kenitra line (200 km), Morocco is pursuing plans to continue to develop its network of high-speed lines. In this perspective, ONCF (the Moroccan national railway company) has appointed Egis as general consultant for external control on the HSL from Kenitra to Marrakesh.
After Kenitra-Tangier, Morocco now wishes to extend its line to Marrakesh, with 450 km of brand-new tracks. This project, an element of the Rail Morocco 2040 plan, constitutes a strategically important link in the continued development of the high-speed network, and will facilitate connections between major cities of the Kingdom, thereby offering high-quality service to rail network passengers.
Egis, working alongside ONCF
The project is divided up into several packages:
- Package 1: Kenitra-Ain Sebaa, 150 km in length
- Package 2: Ain Sebaa-Nouaceur with a cumulative length of 130 km
- Package 3: Nouaceur- Marrakesh, 212 km in length.
Consequently, in anticipation of the considerable workload arising from the coordination of these designs and their importance for the development of the rail network, ONCF appointed Egis as general consultant.
A project with many critical factors
Each of these design packages must take into account the functional challenges specific to their geographical perimeters, but must also result from an approach of total optimisation and consistency with the functional issues of the rest of the network.
With more than 430 km of new line planned, coordinating this design work in a relatively short timeframe will be a significant challenge.
In addition, the design studies for the Ain Sebaa-Nouaceur section circumnavigating the Casablanca hub also notably include the design studies for nearly 60 km of four-track widening works, with very busy railway traffic in a restrictive urban setting. This challenge will call for high mobilisation from ONCF’s stakeholders (engineering, operation, maintenance, commercial, tests, etc) and design offices.
Finally, the project owner will be required to decide upon the best sequencing policy for this project block, taking into account the need to eliminate network bottlenecks, maximise capacity and optimise investment.
Egis, a major figure in HSR in Morocco
Between 2010 and 2018, Egis was in charge of the integrated programme management of track, catenary and construction depots for the full Tangier-Kenitra high-speed line and that of the civil works of the North section. This line delivered on the ambitions of the Moroccan railway company to build the first HSL in Africa and in the Arab world, substantially reducing journey times between Kenitra and Tanger and delivering benefits to millions of passengers per year. Throughout the project, Egis oversaw the transmission of key know-how to ensure that knowledge and skills would remain locked into the region on the project’s completion. Today, Egis is proud that ONCF has renewed its trust in the group for a large-scale project of critical structural importance for the economic development of the Kingdom of Morocco.