From lemag.ma http://www.lemag.ma/english/
Maghreb countries sign cooperation agreement for Railway development
Tunisia – The countries of the Arab Maghreb Union signed, here on Friday 26 December 2014, a cooperation agreement in the field of rail transport development.
The agreement, aimed at promoting the mobility of people and goods and consolidating trade between the Maghreb countries, falls within the framework of the promotion of the commercial sector as a fundamental pillar for the Maghreb integration process.
The document was signed by Moroccan delegate minister for transport, Mohamed Najib Boulif, Tunisian Transport Minister, Ben Ahmed Shihab, Algerian Transport Minister, Ammar Ghoul, Mauritania’s Ambassador to Tunis, Al Mahfoud Mohamed Ahmed, and Libyan Assistant Deputy Prime Minister for technical Affairs, Snoussi Younes Moussa.
Under this agreement, Maghreb countries will undertake to connect rail networks in the region and unify the measures and techniques used in the construction of railway infrastructure, in accordance with international standards of the International Union of Railways.
It also aims to ensure the consistency of projects at the technical and organizational levels between rail networks and the integration of the achievement of the Maghreb high-speed train in national projects.
From MENA RailNews http://www.menarailnews.com/
Tunisia receives grant for Trans Maghreb Railway
By Sam Applegate, MENA RailNews on Jan 21, 2015 in Algeria,
Tunisia has received a USD $1.7 million grant to run a feasibility study into the construction of a railway linking Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia across the Maghreb. The new line would significantly boost regional trade and the economies of the Arab Maghreb Union.
The grant was awarded by the African Development Bank and is to conduct a feasibility study into a 1200 km line across the three countries. Algeria is undergoing one of the biggest railway construction programmes in the MENA region, and is funding its own part of the feasibility study. Tunisia meanwhile is recovering from the Arab Spring and is looking for new economic and trade opportunities through improved regional trade.
The agreement to research the new line is about to be signed off by the Arab Maghreb Union Secretariat, with a view to the project beginning later this year. It is not known when construction, let alone completion, of the new line will begin and with the collapse in oil prices there may be hurdles in the way of financing the project.
TGV is Morocco’s most important transport project
By Peter Feuilherade, MENA RailNews, 16 June 2913
There is better news from the other side of North Africa, where both passenger and freight traffic in Morocco are on the increase. The construction of the 350-km high-speed rail (TGV) line between Tangier and Casablanca, in partnership with France, is regarded as the kingdom’s most important transport project. In April France’s Colas Rail and its subsidiary Colas Rail Maroc, as part of a consortium with Egis Rail, won a design-build contract for a 185-km double track highspeed line between Tangier and Kenitra. The total contract value is US$ 175 million, of which US$ 160 million are earmarked for Colas Rail and Colas Rail Maroc. A consortium comprising Ansaldo STS France and Cofely Ineo was awarded a US$ 155 million contract to design and supply signalling, train control and telecommunications systems for the line, which is scheduled to open during the first half of 2016.
Eventually the TGV network will extend over 1,500 km. According to the international business intelligence firm Oxford Business Group (OBG), “the move to set up a joint venture for TGV maintenance and establish a training institute will be a key driver in the Moroccan authorities’ bid to create a qualified local workforce with know-how for future ventures.”