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Don’t rub your eyes! Africa’s Morocco has got a bullet train even before India

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Published: November 21, 2018 12:38:48 PM

The high-speed train known as the LGV, will provide connectivity to the economic hubs of Tangier and Casablanca. Running at a speed of at up to 320 kmph (199 mph), the train would complete the journey in 2 hours 10 minutes instead of around 5 hours taken on a regular train.

railwaysThe railway office of Morocco is expecting 6 million passengers on the line in the first three years of its operation. (Representational image)

Even as India waits for its first bullet train, interestingly Africa’s Morocco has already got a high-speed train! The high-speed rail line, the first ever such line in Africa was recently inaugurated by French President Emmanuel Macron along with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. The high-speed train known as the LGV, will provide connectivity to the economic hubs of Tangier and Casablanca. Running at a speed of at up to 320 kmph (199 mph), the train would complete the journey in 2 hours 10 minutes instead of around 5 hours taken on a regular train. India, on the other hand, will have to wait till at least 2022 for its first bullet train to start plying.

The high-speed rail project of Morroco, worth $2 billion was launched in September 2011 by the king along with Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France. For the development of the project, France financed 51 percent and Morocco financed 28 percent. The remaining fund of 21 percent was provided by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

According to Macron’s office, the Moroccan high-speed railway line is an international showcase for the French-made high-speed train. It has been reported that Morocco bought as many as 12 such trains from French manufacturer Alstom. Interestingly, the Moroccan king named the first rail line, Al Boraq after a mythical winged creature who is believed to have transported the prophets to the heavens. The railway office of Morocco is expecting 6 million passengers on the line in the first three years of its operation.

Meanwhile, the ambitious project of Modi government, Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, for which the foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Japanese Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe in September last year will ply at a speed of 320 kmph, covering 12 stations. Currently, it takes around 7 hours to complete a train journey between the two cities, however, with the commencement of the bullet train, it will take just 2 hours to complete the journey.

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