In May 2017, 2 friends and I made a trip to Morocco. Why Morocco? First reason were the phosphate trains between the mines around Khouribga and the Atlantic ports. Second reason were the BB72000 diesel locomotives that were running their last kilometers. We were also silently hoping to still catch some of the Astride locomotives that AKIEM rented out to ONCF for some time.
Last but not least, Morocco seemed way out of the comfort zone. TO say the least, it would become an adventure.
We rented a Dacia Logan. A bit sceptical, this car would have to deserve our respect. Luggage fit, windows could open for fresh air, we were totally ready for the adventure.
The first day we spent driving to Casablanca, where we spent the night in a very luxurious hotel next to the Atlantoc ocean. Dinner with an ocean view, what a start.
After a good night’s rest, we headed towards the line from Khouribga to Sidi El Aidi. The first train we photographed was a train buit in Belgium, near home. Adventure, yeah right.
What followed was more unknown territory. We soon found out that every railway crossing is guarded. We also quickly found out that in this rural area, speaking French was of no use anymore. But the phosphate trains, they were running. And the passenger trains were all loco hauled. With simply spectacular landscapes, people in traditional clothes, donkeys all over, dirt roads, chaotic villages, arabic Coca Cola, we really felt far from home. The adventure could begin.