How to get the train from Casablanca to Marrakech


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This would be my second trip to Marrakech.  Even though I did not find Rick in Casablanca, I did have a couple great dinners at Rick’s Cafe, but it was time to get to Marrakech to join a friend to see Marrakech, and then go for a tour into the Sahara Desert.  This would also be my last train ride in Morocco having started in Tangier in the north and finishing in the southern part of the country at Marrakech.

The fare from Gare Voyageurs, Casablanca Gare de Marrakech was DH$ 140 Dirhams (about $16.00) for a first class ticket, and normally take 3 hours and fifteen minutes to complete.  It is worth noting that there are two big trans stations in Casablanca, Gare Casa Port and Gare Casa Voyageurs. I arrived in Casablanca at Gare Casa Port near the harbor district, and would be leaving from Gare Casa Voyageurs in the central downtown area.

For those that might be flying into Casablanca with Marrakech as their final destination, it is quite easy to catch a train at the Mohammed V International Airport to Gare Casa Voyageurs, and then transfer to a train to Marrakech.

Maps showing the last segment of my train ride north to south in Morocco, the route and the route between Casablanca and Marrakech are shown below.

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Gare de Casa Voyaguers is located centrally in downtown Casablanca.  If you do not speak Arabic, you can easily get a taxi to the train station by showing a taxi driver a piece of paper with “Gare de Casa Voyaguers” written on it.  A map showing the place Gare de Casa Voyaguers, and pictures of the station are shown below.

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Gare de Casa Voyageurs, Casablanca, Morocco (picture courtesy of Google Images)
Gare de Casa Voyageurs, Casablanca, Morocco (picture courtesy of Google Images)
Train schedule in Gare de Casa Voyageurs
Train schedule in Gare de Casa Voyageurs
The Gare de Casa Voyageurs boarding area is somewhat difficult to get to in that you have to go down and under the train tracks and come back up.  It is not so much the stairs that are the problem, but if you have two bags and backpack like it did, the process can be a little slow.
The Gare de Casa Voyageurs boarding area is somewhat difficult to get to in that you have to go down and under the train tracks, and then come back up. It is not so much the stairs that are the problem, but if you have two bags and backpack like it did, the process can be a little slow.
Several trains passed through Gare de Casa Voyageurs while I was waiting to the Marrakech train, but I finally noticed its arrival so that I could board.
Several trains passed through Gare de Casa Voyageurs while I was waiting foe my train to Marrakech train, but I finally noticed it would be arriving shortly.
My Marrakech train had finally arrived.
My Marrakech train had finally arrived.

Trains run from Gare de Casa Voyageurs to Gare de Marrakech every two hours from 04:50 AM to 10:50 PM everyday.  One should consult the  official ONCF (Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc) web schedules for travel between Casablanca and Marrakech.  A link to the ONCF web site is provided at the end of this blog post.

Tickets are purchased inside the station.  After purchasing a ticket, you proceed outside to catch the train.  Once a ticket has been obtained, you proceed outside to the boarding area.

I know that some of you may think I have my noise in the heavens when I talk about riding in first class.  My response to that would be that $16.00 for a three-hour and fifteen train ride would be a bargain in the US, and this way I also get a comfortable air-conditioned seat.  A second class ticket was $10.50 US.  So if you want to save $5.50 for the ride to Marrakech, I will see you when we get to Marrakech.

From Casablanca to Marrakech one could easily get the feeling they were riding in the Central Valley of California.  There is a lot of agriculture with a lot of the farms being olive orchards.  I think the best way of seeing what the land looks like is to see  the aerial view in the map below.  As can be seen a large portion of the route through the dessert.

Slide5Gare de Marrakech is centrally located in the port of downtown Marrakech.  A map showing the location of Gare de Marrakech, and some photos of the arrival are shown below.

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Arriving, I walked from the arrival area into Gare de Marrakech.
Arriving, I walked from the arrival area into Gare de Marrakech.
Gare de Marrakech is southern terminus of the railway system in Morocco.  As I walked past the end of the rail line in front of the terminal, I also knew that I had completed my north to south train ride through Morocco.
Gare de Marrakech is southern terminus of the Moroccan railway. As I walked past the end of the line, I knew that I had completed my north to south train ride through Morocco.
The front of Gare de Marrakech
The front of Gare de Marrakech

In front of the station, I asked for a cab to my hotel.  The taxi driver spoke some English, and took me the short distance to the hotel.  He was friendly, and his English was passable.  Like I did in Casablanca, I got his cell phone number, and used him at other times during my stay in Marrakech..

Information about fares and schedules for trains in Morocco can be found at:

http://oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx