Saturday 28 September saw the “Mapping” event (light and sound show) at the Chellah site in Rabat, one of the highlights of the centenary celebrations to mark the laying of the first rails on Moroccan soil and the 50th anniversary of ONCF. This anniversary of Moroccan Railways took place under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.
A vast programme of socio-cultural activities is planned until January 2014. This double celebration is of great historic interest and helps retrace the main phases undergone by railways in Morocco since the Protectorate, then the Independence up until the era of high speed – which is starting to become a reality in the kingdom – and to introduce rail into a new dimension.
The “Mapping” event of 28 September was presided over by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan and brought together figures from the highest levels of the kingdom: all the directors of ONCF (hosted by Mr Mohammed Rabie Khlie, Chief Executive of ONCF as well as Chairman of the UIC Africa Region) and a number of foreign guests, including representatives from UIC.
The crowning moment of this ceremony was the very striking sound and light show which was projected on the ramparts of the historic Chellah site followed by a firework display.
For the foreign guests, ONCF had organised some particularly full and informative technical visits during the day on 28 September to the site of Oued Cherrat (where work is being carried out to add a third track between Casablanca and Kenitra) and the site of Casa-Port train station, which is to play a key role in the transport system of Morocco’s economic hub, with notably a large amount of commuter traffic on the Rabat-Casablanca line.
The guests were also able to visit the Hassan II Mosque, built in Casablanca on a promontory over the Atlantic Ocean.
On the occasion of this double anniversary of Morocco’s railway and ONCF, the Director General and teams of UIC extend their warmest congratulations and all their wishes to their colleagues at Moroccan Railways.