The International Union of Railways, UIC, and Moroccan Railways, ONCF, with the support of Supratours Travel and Europoint are organising the 5th edition of the Next Station Conference in Marrakech, from 21 – 22 October 2015.
A public transport terminal is no longer just an arrival and departure point; it plays an important role in developing cities. The station area is a place to live, a place to work and a place to socialise. The importance of these areas will continue to increase in the future according to UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux.
The locations and number of stations should always be considered in the development of railway lines. Loubinoux provides an example of the development of railways in the State of Rio de Janeiro. “In Brazil there are many factors to consider. As high speed lines are developed it is important to create links to provide easy access to them.” In Brazil there is a plan to link the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo with the Trem de Alta Velocidade Rio-São Paulo.
High speed line
A similar situation exists in Morocco where work is ongoing to link the cities of Casablanca and Tangier with a high speed line. This is where the three-day Next Station rail event will be hosted. “Morocco is a country where there is much ongoing rail development. In addition to the high speed line, work continues on freight lines, network electrification and the development of new stations”.
One of the newly developed stations has been completed at the Casa Port Station in Casablanca. Last November the new station hall opened providing an area of 33,500 square metres. In comparison the hall section of Utrecht Central will be 25,000 square metres when completed in 2016. Casa Port Station is designed to handle 20 million passengers per year and almost 5,000 passengers per hour at peak times. Traditional Moroccan architecture is combined with modern design to create a unique station concept.