Rabat – The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has granted a loan of MAD 1.23 billion to the National Office of Railroads (ONCF).The loan occurred during a signing ceremony for a financing agreement between the ONCF and the IDB. It is part of the IDB’s Istisnaa contract, one of the flagship products granted by the Islamic financial institution.The Ministry of Finance has guaranteed the ONCF the contract, which is considered the first of its kind in the history of Morocco. Following this loan, the ONCF will proceed with the construction of stations for new High Speed Trains, better known as TGV. They are expected to launch in 2018. They will be the first ones to operate in Africa, connecting Tangier to Kenitra in only 1 hour and 30 minutes.In the future, the TGV will link Tangier to Casablanca in 2 hours and 10 minutes, instead of the current five hour journey takes. The governments of Morocco, France, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, are funding the TGV’s $2 billion investment for new trains and tracks.Morocco received the first carriage for the TGV in July 2015. Then, in September of the same year, the second fleets of the TGV arrived at the Port of Tangier Med. After it received the second carriage, the ONCF said: “The transfer of this train to the Tangier maintenance workshop will take place via several special convoys.”This not the first time the ONCF has taken out a loan for the construction of its services. In December 2016, the ONCF announced that it would receive a MAD 1.6 billion loan from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development to renovate the Rabat Ville and Rabat Agdal train stations to make the transit centers compatible with the Kingdom’s new high-speed trains.