German industrial giant Siemens has secured a contract from state-run Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to modernize 260km of railway networks in Egypt with advanced technology for signaling, level-crossings and communications.
In a press statement, Siemens announced that the upgrades are part of a national strategic plan to develop and modernize the Egyptian railway system and are expected to improve safety standards. It will also allow the railway’s maximum speed to be raised from 140km/h to 160km/h and boost throughput of passenger trains and freight services.
The modernization will be implemented on rail corridors between Benha and Port Said to the northeast and Zagazig and Abu Kebir north of Cairo. These routes will see their mechanical interlocking systems replaced with Siemens-produced electronic systems that can be centrally controlled.
Brand new communications infrastructure and level-crossing technology will also be introduced along the routes, which will include 21 stations. The routes will be commissioned in 2020, the statement read.
Egypt’s rail network carries approximately 500 million passengers and six million tonnes of freight on a yearly basis, Joerg Scheifler, Senior Executive Vice President, Mobility, Siemens Middle East said.
“A capable, robust transport network is essential to accommodate rapid population and industrial growth,” said Scheifler.
“Siemens technology supports the program to modernize Egypt’s railway system by updating existing infrastructure with innovative, environmentally friendly solutions for maximum reliability, safety and efficiency in operation.”
The upgrade will proceed in five phases, including an engineering phase, construction and installation phase, commissioning phase, guarantee test phase and defect liability and maintenance phase, Siemens tells Egyptian Streets.
Its aim is to convert the Egyptian railway network into a modern, state-of-the-art system with high safety standards and reliability for users, according to Siemens.
Egypt and Siemens agreed in December 2015 to modernize the Egyptian railway system. The strategic development project is co-financed by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. AFSD and the Kuwait Fund have each secured USD 145.1 million and USD 99 million respectively for the modernization project.
The deal was signed by Ahmed Hamed, head of ENR, and Siemens’ deputy chairman, in the presence of Egypt’s Minister of Transport Saad El-Geyoshy, Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens’ Mobility Management Business Unit, and Thomas Traut, CFO of Siemens Egypt.
Egypt’s railway network has a total length of 9570 km, according to ENR. In recent years, there have been calls for the upgrading of Egypt’s railway system, which has witnessed several incidents, including faulty signalling systems, that have left dozens of people killed.