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Site visit: Casablanca's new metro

by Yamurai Zendera on Feb 3, 2013

Situated in Sidi Moumen suburb on 7ha of land. It will maintain 37 coupled trams 65m-long, but in prevision of future extensions, it is equipped to re
Situated in Sidi Moumen suburb on 7ha of land. It will maintain 37 coupled trams 65m-long, but in prevision of future extensions, it is equipped to re

Urban renovation:
Sidi Mohammed Square main multi-modal exchange
Sidi Mohammed Square, situated in front of main train station Casa Voyageur, illustrates the vocation of the project to enhance the city landscapes and to offer pedestrians dedicated and safe public areas. The square is one of five multimodal exchange poles in the project, for tramway, buses, train and future TGV station.

United Nations Square
In line with the vocation of the project to multiply pedestrian areas, the main city-centre boulevard, Boulevard Mohammed V has been turned into a pedestrian square, thus creating one of the largest pedestrian areas in the city centre.

These measures have been enriched by the restoration of all buildings facades in the area. The unique architectural art deco heritage is enhanced anew, and the city centre is once again an attractive living, business and entertainment area.

Going green
The project has been established with attention to Casablanca’s vegetal heritage. Over 4,000 trees have been planted along a 31km ‘green corridor’.

The tramway runs on electricity, and therefore contributes to lower air pollution. It will also contribute to cutting car traffic in the areas it serves. Being a silent mode of transport, it will reduce sound pollution.

Morocco’s ticket to ride
Morocco has a population of over 32 million people. Despite the economic crisis, the country’s average growth rate is around 5%, according to the IMF. Morocco is experiencing strong demographic growth and is expected to reach 41 million people by 2019.

Morocco’s rail network extends over 2,200km, serving both passenger and freight transport. The network runs like a corridor connecting the major cities and its main ports. Today, 28 million people use rail transport, a 100% increase since 2002.

From mainline to freight and urban, Morocco has a multi-year rail infrastructure development program underway.

The building of 1,500km of very high speed line and the increase of railway freight transportation from 35 to 50 million tons by 2015 constitutes one of the key orientations of the program.

With nearly 60% of the population concentrated in urban areas – compared with only 26% in 1950 – mobility within Moroccan cities has become a key priority.

Road congestion, inadequacy of means of transport and environmental and safety issues are the main problems to be solved. To address them, Morocco has launched several mass transportation projects aimed at providing modern, reliable, comfortable and environmentally friendly modes of transport.

Citadis trams
The Citadis tram is fully integrated into Casablanca’s streetscape through coherent and customised design. Air conditioning, large tinted glass windows, wide aisles, passenger information displays in Arabic and French and quiet operation have all been specifically designed to ensure optimal travel conditions.

The trams created are modern on the outside, in keeping with a city undergoing rapid economic development. On the inside, a Moroccan-style interior has been created. Discussions between Alstom and Casa Transports resulted in a Citadis with a rounded, regular and harmonious shape from the front to the rear.

Alstom’s other ongoing projects in Morocco

• Fourteen Euroduplex trains for the Tangier-to-Casablanca line
• Two-year maintenance contract for seven BB36000 electric locomotives for the OCP (Cherifian Phosphate Office)
• Three-year technical standardisation contract for 27 E1300/50 electric locomotives
• Maintenance support contract for the entire Alstom fleet, representing 47 E1300/50, 1400 electric locomotives, for a two-year period