At a press conference held in Casablanca on 3 April 2012, ONCF Chief Executive Mr Mohamed Rabie Khlie presented the highlights and the results of 2011 and the state of play for ongoing investment projects – in particular that of the Tangier-Casablanca high speed rail line.
As regards highlights, 2011 was an eventful year both from an internal and external perspective:
- Launch of construction work by His Majesty the King for the Tangier-Casablanca high speed rail line,
- Launch of civil engineering work and work relating to the construction of the HSL project maintenance workshop,
- Continued investment aiming to upgrade the conventional network and to boost the fleet’s transport material: project to triple the track between Casablanca and Kenitra; partial doubling of the track between Casablanca and Marrakech; removal of around 20 level crossings and replacing them with grade-separation projects; acquisition and upgrading of passenger coaches and multiple units,
- Conclusion of a new memorandum of understanding with social partners for a period of five years. This agreement guarantees improved social and material conditions for staff and also serves as a reference for several ongoing projects that will be completed as part of continued social dialogue with social partners,
- Boosting and rejuvenating human resources by recruiting 200 new employees in 2011, bringing the number of newly-recruited employees at ONCF to 1000 since 2004.
With 34 million passengers and 37 million tonnes of goods transported, passenger and freight logistics activities are continuing to grow, reaching double digits compared to 2010. This growth is the result of spillover effects from major projects conducted as part of the previous five-year plan: doubling of track on the lines where demand is rising (Casa-Fes, Casa-Settat, etc.); acquisition of Duplex trainsets, extension of the network by constructing new lines such as Tangier Med and services from Nador.
Mr Khlie concluded his speech by reminding participants of the content of the Tangier-Casablanca HSL project, its financing arrangements, its many socio-economic effects as well as the project’s status, which is progressing in accordance with the time schedule.