CAIRO - 16 February 2020: "An Indian company finished the renovation of 117 out of 125 railroads introducing an electronic control system," Minister of Transportation Kamel al-Wazir told press on Sunday after a meeting with Indian Ambassador Sanjay Bhattacharyya.
Both officials discussed further cooperation in the transportation sector as the minister highlighted the necessity to finish the existing project as soon as possible to ensure safety.
Sources in the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) told Egypt Today that LE 55 billion have been allocated to development works that will take place between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2022.
The total number of railroads being constructed and renovated is 1,120. The construction works of 648 railroads are finished, while the control systems have been introduced in 418. Furthermore, 262 out of 705 stations are being overhauled.
ERA has also signed contracts to purchase and co-produce locomotives with different international companies, including Transmashholding. Sources in the Ministry of Transportation told Egypt Today in December that the delivery of the first batch of Russian railcars contracted with Transmashholding got delayed to March instead of the end of this year as the loan procedures had been finished a few days earlier.
Nevertheless, the number of railcars in the first batch doubled to become 60 including the model railcar that was tested on Egyptian railways. Also, the total number of railcars to be delivered by June has to be 180.
In July 2019, ERA endorsed the technical specifications of two passenger railcars that were supposed to be supplied by Transmashholding in September. Those are part of a contract to supply 1,300 railcars. One of the railcars would be tested in Hungary, so it would be granted the safety certification by the European Railway Agency. The other was tested in Egypt.
The contract states that 650 railcars will be supplied from Hungary, 500 will be delivered by Russia, and 150 will be manufactured by Egypt under the supervision of Transmashholding. An Egyptian locomotive factory will be established as part of a plan to localize the locomotive industry in Egypt and transfer the know-how to workers, technicians, and engineers in the sector. The factory will produce 150 railcars and also provide maintenance services.
The contract is funded by a soft loan worth €1.02 billion granted by Hungarian Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and State Specialized Russian Export- Import Bank (Eximbank of Russia). The 1,300 railcars shall be delivered over batches within 40 months once the loan procedures are finalized.
The contract consists of 500 third-class air-conditioned railcars, 180 second-class air-conditioned railcars, 90 first-class air-conditioned railcars, 500 third-class dynamic-ventilation railcars, and 30 air-conditioned cabooses.
In December 2019, Minister of Transport Kamel al-Wazir received the first batch of 10 new American tractors that arrived in Alexandria port as part of a deal signed with General Electric Company. The deal stipulates that the company will manufacture and support 100 new tractors to the Egyptian side.
ERA has also concluded a contract with Spanish company Talgo to manufacture and supply six air-conditioned trains similar to the turbine trains, which were previously operating in the Railways Authority. The first of those will arrive in Cairo at the end of 2020 to be first tested. If approved, the rest will be supplied.