Spain and Morocco Revive Gibraltar Strait Tunnel Project
A railway tunnel project under the Gibraltar Strait, that would connect Africa with Europe for the first time, has just received new funding. According to Railtech.com, Spain’s government gazette confirmed on June 16 that Madrid has approved the sum of €2.3 million for a design study, which is to be transferred to the Spanish Society for Fixed Communication Studies through the Strait of Gibraltar (SECEGSA). The funds originate from the European Union financed Plan for Recovery, Transformation and Resilience (PRTR).
Dubbed the “Europe-Africa Gibraltar Strait Fixed Link” project, it would entail a high-speed passenger and freight railway. While the strait is only 14 km wide, a tunnel would have to be some 40 km long because of the great depth of the waters, of between 300-900 meters.
The plan for of a rail connection between Europe and Africa at this particular strait goes back many decades. In fact, the Fixed-Link Project was established following the Spanish-Moroccan Joint Declaration of June 16, 1979 in Fez, by King Hassan II of Morocco and King Juan Carlos I of Spain. The Complementary Agreement of October 24, 1980 set up a Joint Spanish-Moroccan Committee, the Spanish Society for Fixed Communication Across the Strait of Gibraltar, and the Moroccan “Société Nationale d’Études du Détroit de Gibraltar” (National Society for the Study of the Strait of Gibraltar). ********
Although several studies and designs on it were then drafted in the early 2000s, the project went all but dormant in 2009. Finally, in Feb. 2023, Spain’s Minister of Transport Raquel Sanchez and her counterpart Morocco’s Minister of Equipment and Water Nizar Baraka met in Rabat and agreed to restart studies on the project with the intention of commencing construction around 2030. Two months later, in April, the 43rd meeting of the Spanish-Moroccan Joint Committee of the Fixed Link Project of the Straits of Gibraltar took place.
If completed, the rail tunnel would link Spain’s high-speed rail network, the most extensive in Europe, with Morocco’s high-speed rail line, the first in Africa, connecting the port city of Tangier with the country’s largest city, Casablanca. Spanning 323 km, the line has has been operating since 2018. The Moroccan railway links to those in Algeria and Tunisia, although neither is high-speed rail
The Gibraltar Strait railway project is featured in the Schiller Institute’s report, The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge, published in 2014 by EIR and available in German, French, and Arabic as well as English. For more information, please contact us here at Strategic Alert Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) or order it here.