How to get the train from Rabat to Casablanca to find Rick!


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This would be my second trip to Casablanca.  In 2011 I went to Casablanca to find Rick.  At that time I was an utter failure because I did not find Rick.  It seemed that everyone knew the location of Rick’s Cafe, and told me about the great food and spirits there, but yet when I got there, no one know where Rick was.

My third train ride in Morocco was from Rabat to Casablanca.  The Rabat to Casablanca train normally one hour and 10 minutes.  The fare from Rabat to Casablanca was DH$ 55 Dirhams (about $6.40) for a first class ticket.  It is worth noting that there are two big trans stations in Casablanca, Gare Casa Port and Car Casa Voyeurs This was the fourth segment of my travels in Morocco having previously been in Tangier, Fes, Meknes, and Rabat.  The map below show my route from Gare (train station) Rabat Ville to Gare Casa Port with the area circled in red.

Slide1

Gare Rabat Ville is located near the center of the Rabat.  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 Rabat Ville” written on it.  A map showing the location of Gare Rabat Ville and some pictures of the station are shown below.

Slide2

Gare Rabat Ville from the street.
Gare Rabat Ville from the street.

Trains run from Gare Rabat Ville and Gare Casa Port from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM.  Most of the time trains run every 30 minutes, but starting at 6:00 PM the trains only run hourly.  At 6:45 AM, there is also a train to help with rush hour travel.  If you need to go to the downtown Casablanca Gare Casa Voyeurs, trains run from Gare Rabat Ville starting at 3:15 AM continuing all day with the last train leaving 9:45 PM.  One should consult the  official ONCF (Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc) schedules for travel between Rabat and Casablanca.  With some parts of the day having five trains / hour running between the two cities there is not a shortage of trains.

Tickets are purchased inside the station.  After purchasing a ticket, you proceed outside to catch the train. I think it worth mentioning that you should be able to buy tickets in Morocco using a credit card.  However, in both Meknes and Rabat I had to pay in cash (Moroccan Dirhams).  I am not sure if this was because the credit card machines were not working, or if it was because I was from outside the country.  Also, I had to show my passport to purchase a ticket.

At Gare Rabat Ville, there are two train tracks.  Not wanting to get on the wrong train, I found an individual that spoke English, and make sure I was waiting in the correct location.  You want to make sure your are in the area to board the correct class of service that you purchased with  your ticket as there are several kinds of passengers cars on each train.  Below are pictures showing the sign to the ticket area and the boarding areas at Gare de Meknes.

Signs written in both Arabic and French point to the ticket area as you enter Gare Rabat Ville
Signs written in both Arabic and French point to the ticket area as you enter Gare Rabat Ville
As I was waiting for the train to Casa Port several other trains passed through the station
As I was waiting for the train to Casa Port several other trains passed through the station
You can see both traditional and western clothing while waiting for a train.  In Morocco you will see both traditional and western clothing
You can see both traditional and western clothing while waiting for a train. In Morocco you will see both traditional and western clothing
Finally, my train for Casa Port arrived.  I had to make sure to read the train signs since I did not know either French or Arabic.  I think that I had waited about 20 minutes for my train.
Finally, my train for Casa Port arrived. I had to make sure to read the train signs since I did not know either French or Arabic. I think that I had waited about 20 minutes for my train.

Below is a picture of the passenger car that I rode in from Rabat to Casablanca  This car did not have a cabins to sit in like the train I took from Tangier to Fes.  The seats were very comfortable, and I had fours seats and a table to myself.  Less than 20% of the seats were occupied on the day I rode between Rabat and Casablanca.  Usually, you only have to show up to get a seat, but trains can be crowed.  Between both Tangier and Fes, and Casablanca Marrakesh the trains were crowed, but most of the time you should be able to get a seat.

These are the first class seats that I had between Rabat and Casablanca.
These are the first class seats that I had between Rabat and Casablanca.
This is the view from my seat towards the front of the train.  You can see how crowed the ride between Rabat and Casablanca was.  I was sure lucky that I got to Gare Rabat Ville early, or I might not have been able to get onto the train.
This is the view from my seat towards the front of the train. You can see how crowed the ride between Rabat and Casablanca was. I was sure lucky that I got to Gare Rabat Ville early, or I might not have been able to get onto the train.

Between Rabat and Casablanca the trains pass up and down the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.  However, the tracks are one or two miles inland.  Most of the time the ocean is visible, but not all the time. Most of the area between Rabat and Casablanca is agricultural, but the train does pass through some industrial and suburban areas, but the train ride was quite scenic for the most part.

Gare Case Port is centrally near the port of downtown Casablanca.  After arriving, you need to proceed up into the station to get to the street level.  A map showing the location of Gare Casa Port some photos of the arrival area in Rabat and the are shown below.

Slide3

This was the arrival area at Gare Casa Port
This was the arrival area at Gare Casa Port
My train from Rabat to Casablanca after arriving at Casa Port.  There was only a small ticketing office because there was a new terminal being contructed.
My train from Rabat to Casablanca after arriving at Casa Port. There was only a small ticketing office because there was a new terminal being built when I passed through.

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 my hotel.  He was friendly, and his English was passable for me to understand.  I got his cell phone number, and used him on other times during my stay to see things in Casablanca.

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

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