In a Christmas card from friends in France:
Rémi and Magali … are off to Morocco for a year to build the first TGV line there.
Yes, this is actually happening. From the website of Moroccan railways :
I can’t swear that high-speed rail is really the best way for Morocco to invest its scarce capital, and the project has certainly been greased by a lot of pressure and money from France. Even so, this is the right kind of prestige project, unlike jet fighters or motorways to the airport. It plausibly has large and broadly spread externalities, at least to the urban middle class, if not the peasantry, and is going to be powered in good part by solar thermal energy.
In this area the USA is falling behind not just Europe and China, but Africa. You should be shocked, shocked.