Omio identified the world’s most advanced high-speed rail networks, ranking Morocco as number 12 on the list.
Rabat – Omio, an online travel booking company for train, flight, bus, and ferry tickets, analyzed the leading high-speed rail networks worldwide to identify the top 20 countries with the most advanced infrastructure, and Morocco ranked number 12 on its list.
Omio notes the importance of high-speed rail travel in its recent report published online by writing, “With a rising global conscience on climate change and an urgent need to connect rural populations to urban hubs, high-speed rail offers a promising solution to congested roads and remote labour markets.”
Using data from the 2019 International Union of Railways report, the company based its ranking on the operational and record speeds of trains. It also considered the length of existing railway tracks and the length of tracks under construction. Each of these factors accounted for 25% of the country’s overall score, standardized to offer a zero-100 score (zero being the lowest and 100 being the highest).
Omio ranks China, with a perfect score, as the number one country for high-speed railway systems. With 19,289 miles of railway in operation and 4,478 underway, China’s system has more miles of high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined. As well, China’s system records the fastest times, operating at an average speed of 217 miles per hour and setting a record speed of 261 miles per hour.
In order, Japan, Spain, France, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Turkey, Austria, Saudi Arabia, and Belgium follow China before Morocco on the list. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Russia, the United States, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland follow Morocco’s total score of 31.3.
The North African country has 124 miles of railway in operation with zero miles under current construction. Morocco’s high-speed rail speed of 199 miles per hour is aligned with Japan’s, which ranks 2nd on Omio’s list.
High-speed railways are defined by trains operating at a minimum speed of 120 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour). In the 1960s, Japan was the first country to launch high-speed rail systems. Nearly 20 years later, France became the first country in Europe to establish a high-speed system.
In November 2018, Morocco introduced its high-speed railway, Al Boraq, as the first high-speed railway in Africa. King Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated Morocco’s first high-speed train by taking the first ride from Tangier to Rabat.
Led by the state-owned company ONCF, the system connects the country’s northern city of Tangier with Rabat, Casablanca, and Kenitra.
In recent months, King Mohamed VI has expressed his desire to expand Morocco’s high-speed rail system to reach the southern provinces, as well as to link Marrakech and Agadir.