From 26 – 27 May, a Conference on High Speed Rail was held in Tangiers, Morocco to present the existing achievements and the contribution of high-speed rail for the development of mobility and territories in the kingdom.
The workshop was very important, with Morocco being the first country on the African continent to operate a high-speed rail system.
The event was organised by ONCF, the National Office of Railways in Morocco, together with UIC.
The main slogan chosen for the event was “High Speed, accelerator of mobility and territories” and the conference focused on aspects related to the impact of high speed on mobility, the effects of high speed on the territories served and the conditions of their development, Morocco’s railway strategy, particularly regarding high speed, and the socio-economic interests of Moroccan high speed.
A comparison with similar transport systems from other countries was also included, adding an international dimension to the event.
The event was opened by Mr Mohammed Najib Boulif, Morocco’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and was also attended Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Director General of Moroccan Railways (ONCF) and Chairman of the UIC African Region, and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC. The President of SNCF (French Railways) was represented by Mr Dominique Vastel, Director in Charge of Moroccan Business. Also in attendance was Ms Sahiba Derbel, President and CEO of Tunisian Railways (SNCFT) and high-level representatives from the region.
Presentations and discussions were given by Mr Michel Leboeuf (Honorary Chairman of the UIC High Speed Committee), Mr Iñaki Barrón (Director of the UIC Passenger and High Speed Department), Ms Sanae Raissouni (High Speed Project Director for ONCF), Mr Elmehdi Benqassmi (Head of Operations for High Speed Line Projects), Mr Said Chandid (Director of Strategy and Communications at ONCF), representatives from several members of the Intercity & High Speed Committee, local authorities, etc.
The event was organised over two days. The first, 26 May, was dedicated to presentations and discussions and the day after, 27 May, a technical visit was organised to the work on the first high speed line in Morocco, linking Tangiers and Kenitra.
A previous technical meeting of the UIC Intercity & High Speed Committee was held the day before, on 25 May.