Morocco’s engineers are preparing to launch the Africa’s fastest train in their country. It has been said that the new trains can reach speeds of about 320 kilometres (200 miles) per hour.
Rail transport has been around for a while now and is advantageous for a number of reasons some of which include:
- Travelling by trains are a dependable way of getting around because trains are the least affected means of transport when it comes to weather conditions such as rain
- Rail transport also tends to be better organized; having fixed routes and schedules.
- Trains eat up long distances with greater speed than other modes of transport besides aeroplanes.
- Trains are economical, quicker and best suited for carrying heavy and bulky goods over long distances.
- The chance of having accidents and breakdowns when riding a train is minimal compared to other modes of transport.
- Trains have large capacities which are elastic; they can be increased by adding more wagons.
- They also provide employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labour.
Africa’s Fastest Train
Morocco may be debuting Africa’s fastest train but the trains in question are French made. The trains are double-decker TGVs and are being tested ahead of the launch of a flagship new line connecting Tangier with Morocco’s economic capital, Casablanca in 2018.
A successful launch will see the journey by train between the two cities taking place in half the time it takes now. That would just be over two hours, a speed double South Africa’s Gautrain, launched in 2012.
The project to make the new trains Africa’s fastest train was 50 percent financed by France through various loans. It has been in development for years and cost about $2.4 billion (N876 billion). It is still set to go 15 percent over budget.
The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who went to Morocco to sign a loan deal between the ONCF and the French Development Agency said;
“This is already the fastest train on the African continent.”
With the trains, the Moroccan rail authority is targeting six million travellers a year after three years of operations. The tickets are expected to cost 30 percent more than those for the current rail link.
While the trains have been praised by the Moroccan leaders who spearheaded the project, some opponents have said that the money could have been channelled into more necessary projects.
Morocco has been spending on infrastructure and the trains are just one more project joining the world’s largest solar power plant and several major ports that have been built or are being built to stimulate a sluggish economy.