Published On: Sun, Feb 4th, 2024
World | 2,478 views

The massive £5.1b underwater tunnel that could one day link Europe and Africa | World | News


A stunning new transport connection linking Europe and Africa could soon become reality as excitement grows over a proposed tunnel that could change the landscape of the two continents’ relations.

Last summer, Spain confirmed a £2million fund for a design study on a planned railway tunnel linking the country with Morocco under the Gibraltar Strait.

In what would be an incredible piece of engineering, it would have to span nine miles to connect the two continents.

The plan was first spoken of seriously in the 1970s and formalised in the 1980s, but was shelved with very little progressive from outside thinkers.

However, the project was put back on the list of things to discuss after the completion of Morocco’s brilliant high-speed rail link between Casablanca and the northern port city of Tangiers, via capital Rabat.

Spain’s transport minister, Raquel Sanchez, says they are “giving impetus to a project of maximum geostrategic importance” which would improve relations both between Spain and Morocco, as well as Europe and Africa.

Spain also has a high speed rail service to its southern coast, meaning a connection into Morocco might make sense if the tunnel isn’t too hard or expensive to build. The cash for the design study comes from the EU’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which has supported investments around the continent since the Covid pandemic.

Supporters of the proposed project are hoping that the upcoming 2030 FIFA World Cup – which is being held across Morocco, Spain and Portugal – might speed things up. The project, if it goes ahead, would take approximately five years, according to specialist rail outlet Railtech.com.

The rail link would reportedly span 23 miles, with 16 underwater and 7 underground. This is despite the shortest distance between Spain and Morocco being 8 miles.

The hopes are that there would be one continuous link all the way from Casablanca to Madrid.

The underwater tunnel wouldn’t be the only in Europe – there is of course the one between the UK and France, while the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel is also under construction and will connect Denmark and northern Germany. Costing £8.5billion, the project is due to be finished in 2029.



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