Name: Morocco (Maroc)
Language: Arabic and French
Currency: Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
National railway system
ONCF - Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc
Numeric 93; alpha MA
Note that a special timetable is in effect for the month of Ramadan which, as its dates depend on the lunar cycle, is not at the same time each year.
www.oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx. The website may showing a timetable which supposedly finished weeks earlier.
http://www.oncf.ma/InfosPratiques/Pages/Telechargement.aspx. Note that the online version omits some useful notes which are in the printed version. The timetable may often continue out of the nominal date range until superseded.
A large sheet version of the timetable is kept 'under the table' at main stations, which can be viewed by those persistent enough to ask. It shows all services, but not some of the minor halts. It contains notes which are missing from the online version.
Summary timetables are available in some editions of the European Rail Timetable.
- World Rail Atlas - North, East and Central Africa by Neil Robinson.
A site is now available for on line ticket purchase.
The Seat61 website > Travelling by train in Morocco gives useful information on travelling in Morocco. However it does not mention the Moroccan Rail Pass, which can be bought from ticket windows at major stations. An application form can be downloaded from the ONCF website, which may help with any language issues when purchasing the pass.
3kV DC except for the Tanger - Kénitra high speed line, which is 25kV AC. All passenger lines are electrified except for the routes east of Fes to Oujda and Beni Nsar Port.
Rule of the road
- Rabat – Salé. Revenue earning services started on 23 May 2011.
- Casablanca. Revenue earning services started on 12 December 2012.
Recent and future changes
Morocco’s first high speed line, between Tanger and Kénitra and originally planned to open in December 2015, is due to be handed over for the start of trial running in June 2018, when the stations have been completed. Tracklaying was completed in October 2017 and the catenary in November 2017. The electrification system was energised at the beginning of January 2018 and the signalling commissioned in February 2018. This 200 route-km section is the first phase of the planned Tanger – Casablanca high speed line. The trains will then run on the upgraded line from Kenitra to Casablanca, and construction of a third, parallel track, for freight was announced along with the other upgrading plans in September 2012. Tanger Ville station was closed temporarily, possibly from 7 January 2015, for high speed line works and all services now terminate at Tanger Morora.
A new railway line opened on 17 June 2009 between a triangle immediately south of Tanger Morora and the huge new port of Tanger Med. In early 2013 a sparse passenger service of 2 trains per day was scheduled on the branch as far as Ksar Sghir. Regular services between Tanger Ville and Tanger Med commenced on 15 June 2013.
November 2012 saw the launch of the first phase of a project to double the Settat to Marrakech line, build a new station at Benguerir, and construct a 2 hectare ‘dry port’ at Sidi Ghanem on the outskirts of Marrakech.
In 2010 a new 27km cut-off between Sidi Yahya El Gharb and Mechraa Bel Ksiri allowed trains from Casablanca to Tanger to avoid the longer route via Sidi Kacem.
The new railway from Taourirt to Beni Ksar Port was officially opened by King Mohammed VI on 10 July 2009, along with the two new stations at Nador, the major city on the line.
Obscure and Sparse Passenger Services
See PSUL: World Beyond Europe.
The line from Oujda to Maghnia in Algeria has been closed for political reasons for some years, so Morocco has no rail connections to other countries. Beni Nsar Port station is only 150 m from the border with the Spanish enclave of Melilla, which has a ship connection to Almeria. Beni Nsar Port has ship connections to Almeria and Sete (France).