TALKS to build a Morocco-Spain railway line are underway, a government minister has said.
“We have been working for years with Spain for the continental railway line between the two countries and we are now in the process of deepening technical studies,” Morocco’s Transport Minister Najib Boulif said.
The official revealed that Spain and Morocco could complete the necessary research in less than two years.
Boulif added: “Swiss experience has shown that some of the proposals, which were not feasible in the last 20 years, are now possible, on the basis that we decide the best possible route for the link, taking into account the costs and risks associated with the sea.”
The Moroccan minister was referring to research carried out by the University of Zurich and Herrenknecht, the world’s largest tunnel-building firm.
The joint study showed that the tunnel, which could cost €8 billion, is possible to build.
Funding, some of which is likely to come from the EU, would determine whether the line would be over a bridge or through a tunnel.
Moroccan and Spanish companies are both understood to be working towards the project.
If the first land link between Europe and Africa was made by tunnel, it would have to be 38km to stretch between the two countries.
That is shorter than the Channel Tunnel connecting the UK and France, which is 50km in length.
High speed trains in the tunnel would make cargo journeys between Madrid and Marrakech up to three times shorter.