A £6BN TUNNEL COULD LINK EUROPE TO AFRICA BY 2030 – A rail crossing between Spain and Morocco could finally come to fruition

A new underwater tunnel could link Spain to Morocco by the end of the decade, in time for the 2030 World Cup.

This week the Moroccan National Company for Strait Studies (SNED) said that work was underway to explore the financing and strategic elements of the project.

In March, the Moroccan minister of water and equipment, Nizar Baraka, met the Spanish transport minister, Oscar Puente, to discuss the matter.

The underwater section of the tunnel would span 17 miles at a maximum depth of 1,550ft, connecting Punta Paloma, west of Tarifa, with Malabata in northern Morocco, just east of Tangier. It is unknown how much the construction of two tunnels (plus a third service tunnel) would cost, although some estimates put the project at €8 billion.

The Spanish Society for Fixed Communication Studies across the Strait of Gibraltar (SECEGSA) has predicted that the tunnel, which would link the railway networks of Spain and Morocco, could carry 12.8 million passengers per year. 

It would also be an important trade crossing, with the potential to transport 13 million tons of cargo between Africa and Europe. 

It would also reduce travel times between Madrid and Casablanca to just 5.5 hours. Currently, flights take around two hours, and driving – including a ferry crossing – takes up about 12 hours.