Regional News

Egypt announces $3.1bn railways revamp plan

May 2018

Egypt is set to invest a total of E£55 billion ($3.1 billion) on the revamp of the national railway network over the next five years, including the addition of 1,000 new train cars, reported Al Ahram news website, citing the country’s transport minister.

Last year, President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi had highlighted the need for upgradation of the railway network to prevent fatal accidents, stating that the system needs E£180 billion ($10 billion) to be modernised, the report added.

Hisham Arafat said Egypt has a clear and comprehensive plan to develop all aspects of the railway system, whether in infrastructure, tractors, train carriages and signals. The country has signed deals with US company General Electric for the supply of 100 locomotives and the refurbishing of 81 others, as well as access to funding for another 100 locomotives, said Arafat during a surprise visit to Giza railway station.

“We have also signed deals for 1,300 passenger carriages and 300 others for cargo,” he stated, emphasising that citizens will notice an upgrade in the ailing system next year.

The minister’s statements come nearly a month after Egypt’s parliament finally approved several government-drafted amendments to the 1980 law that regulates the performance of the debt-laden Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA), with a view to rescuing the vital railways sector.

Egypt’s railway system has a poor safety record, with frequent deadly collisions often blamed on lack of maintenance and poor management, said the report.

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