Morocco's King Mohammed VI (3rd L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) attend the launching ceremony of the high-speed train in Tangier, Morocco, on Nov. 15, 2018. Mohammed VI and Emmanuel Macron launched Thursday the first high-speed train in Africa. (Xinhua)
TANGIER, Morocco, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Morocco's king Mohammed VI and French President Emmanuel Macron launched Thursday the first high-speed train in Africa.
The Moroccan king and Macron took the train from the northern city of Tangier to arrive in the capital Rabat, in a ride that lasted 80 minutes, compared to around four hours for a normal train ride before.
Called Al Boraq, the 200-km high-speed rail line has been built with a budget of more than 2 billion U.S. dollars.
In addition to over 600-million-dollar financing from Morocco, several foreign countries contributed to the implementation of this project.
France contributed half of the total budget of the project, while the rest was mobilized by loans from Gulf countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
The new train exceeded a speed of 220 miles (352 km) per hour in the tests, but it will travel at a speed of 320 km per hour during normal operation.
As a result, the journey time between Tangier and Casablanca will be reduced from five hours to two hours and 10 minutes.