ONCF ordered 30 new electric locomotives and expects to receive two or three per month until the order is complete.
Rabat – The National Office of Railways (ONCF) has received its first electric engine. The locomotive arrived on Friday, December 27, reports the state-owned media outlet Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
ONCF will use the new engine on its routes from Casablanca to Fez and from Casablanca to Marrakech. The locomotive can reach speeds of 160 kilometers per hour.
ONCF ordered 30 new electric engines for approximately MAD 1.5 billion ($157 million) from international train manufacturer Alstom and expects to receive two or three engines per month in the coming months.
The national rail company received a 40-year loan at a favorable interest rate of 0.0016% from the French government to purchase the new locomotives. The loan includes a grace period of 10 years, MAP explains.
The engines will be able to transport loads of cars from the PSA Group’s factory in Kenitra, north of Rabat, to the major port of Tangier Med. An ONCF press release also explained that the electric engines will be put to use carrying containers from Tangier Med to Casablanca.
ONCF also has plans for future acquisitions of self-propelled trains and notes increased demand for its transportation services in its press release.
In 2018, the rail company had 585 passenger cars and 5,498 freight cars. ONCF also completed multiple projects in 2018 to increase capacity, adding more tracks in Casablanca to free up space in overloaded stations, adding a second track from Casablanca to Marrakech, and tripling the Casablanca-Kenitra tracks.
Alstom has a manufacturing facility in Fez and an office in Casablanca.