Colonialism and Moroccan Rail Transport


Morocco was, at the time, colonized by different countries, i.e., France (middle) and Spain (north and south) in addition to the international status of the northern most city of Tangier. This meant that the network was built by different authorities often with different choice of technologies such as the gauge, i.e., the distance between the rails.

Narrow-gauge rail network in Morocco around 1915 which was, at that time, one of the largest worldwide.


Several issues appeared with the rolling-stock, most of the steam-engine locomotives that were used in the system were not adapted to the local geography and climate conditions. Electrification was therefore initiated as early as 1925.

Only half of the trans-Maghreb railway network was electrified.


The Moroccan Railways Company was formed in 1922 to take over all the routes that were built by the military. The company controlled all the standard-gauge lines in the country, except between Fez and Tangiers. The latter is owned by the Tangiers-Fez Railway (60% by French and 40% by Spanish investors).

Around a million passengers were transported on a yearly basis at that time.



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Transport, economics, history and linguistics (among others) feed my interest!