20 Jun 2021

RANDOM Times •

To survive, you must tell stories…(“,)

The curious abandoned Sea Cable Car of Sidi Ifni (سيدي إفني), Morocco

2 min read

Sidi Ifni is a city located on the west coast of Morocco, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, with a population of approximately 20,000 people.
The economic base of the city is fishing. Not by chance, in 2000, an important fishing port was completed, which serves as a base for fish exports.
Walking along the beach, toward the port at the southern end of town, you may spot a huge concrete structure a little ways off the shore, standing lonely in the middle of the sea.
The huge abandoned pylons are labeled as the “Ancienne gare funiculaire” or “Old funicular station” on Google Maps.
This concrete oddity is an abandoned rest of a unique midcentury cable car system, built toward the end of the Spanish colonial occupation of the city Sidi Ifni.
In its heyday, it was one of the only sea cable car systems of its kind in the world, as well as a point of local pride.

To better utilize its ocean-shipping potential, Spanish authorities in the 1960s conceived and installed a unique ship-offloading system in the shallow waters of the Sidi Ifni port. Since the waters were too shallow to allow ships to reach shore, a concrete bastion was built at 550 meters offshore, with a derrick and crane.
Cargo and personnel were lifted from a ship, then moved to another station near the cliffs east of town, using self-propelled carts slung from large steel cables, supported by several pylons. This system ran for a few years (until Spain finally ceded the territory to Morocco), then fell into disrepair.
The cables have disappeared, but the end stations and pylons are still visible.
Today, this decaying hill station looks like a giant crumbling concrete bunker, and its rusty remnants of the transport system can still be seen here, including some old rail cars and abandoned cargo.

Images from web – Google Research