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Morocco-Europe Underwater Rail Link Advances With Studies

EFFORTS to establish an unprecedented intercontinental rail link between Europe and Morocco have taken a significant step forward as the Moroccan National Company for Strait Studies (SNED) initiates feasibility research on an ambitious 40-year-old train project aimed at connecting the two continents by 2030.

The project, which involves constructing a groundbreaking 28-kilometre underwater tunnel between Spain and Morocco at depths reaching 475 meters, is targeted for completion by the end of the decade. Currently in the planning stage, developers are meticulously assessing the financial and logistical viability of the venture.

An integral aspect of the initiative is the envisioned high-speed train service that will seamlessly integrate Spain’s existing rail lines with Morocco’s Al Boraq route. The proposed route spans from Punta Paloma, west of Tarifa in Spain, to Malabata in northern Morocco, just east of Tangier.


While the train journey from Europe to Morocco via this route would take nearly six hours, significantly longer than a typical Madrid to Casablanca flight, the project holds promise as a transformative development in intercontinental transportation.

Despite its futuristic appeal, the project remains in the conceptualising phase, with official cost estimates hovering around $12bn. Government officials from Spain, Portugal, and Morocco have expressed robust support and enthusiasm for the initiative, viewing it as a transformative milestone in regional connectivity.

Raquel Sanchez, Spain’s former transport minister, remarked, ‘We are beginning a new stage in the revival of the fixed link project across the Strait of Gibraltar, which we launched in 1981, hand in hand.’

Last year, the Spanish government secured €4 million in EU feasibility funding to study the train link, underscoring the collaborative efforts and financial commitments driving the project forward.

While the Europe-Morocco underwater rail link project offers a compelling glimpse into the future of transportation infrastructure, significant logistical challenges lie ahead as stakeholders work to translate this ambitious vision into reality.

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