Creative commons via Pexels
Creative commons via Pexels

Gov't to install surveillance cameras in new bid to control railway accidents

Tue, Aug. 21, 2018
CAIRO - 21 August 2018: Transport Minister Hisham Arafat ordered on Tuesday the Railway Authority to install surveillance cameras around the central control towers of the National Railways to monitor workers and prevent train accidents.

Officials of the Railway Authority held a meeting to discuss means to imply the minister’s orders and determine the costs of these cameras, an official source told Egypt Today, pointing out that this project aims to mentor the control towers responsible for regulating the signals of train lines.

Arafat told Egypt Today that these surveillance cameras are very important as through them all signals can be controlled, adding that it is necessary to monitor the control towers all day and that the installation of cameras will not cost much.
He stressed that this project protects both officials and employees as these cameras will detect any attempts to tamper with the signals and will monitor the performance of all workers.

“I rejected the minister of transport’s request to raise the price of railway tickets,” President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi stated during his speech to the students and governmental officials at the National Youth Conference.

President Sisi affirmed that the ticket price will not be raised until the whole railway system is developed.

His recent statements came following the unfortunate train derailment in Aswan that resulted in the injury of six passengers.

Railway Authority Chairman Sayed Salem was sacked immediately after the accident.
Minister of Transportation Arafat ordered the formation of a technical committee to investigate the reasons behind the Cairo-Aswan train derailment.

According to media reports, the railway network will not be entirely developed until 2022, as the Ministry of Transportation announced earlier that four mega development projects aiming to upgrade the railway signaling will be fully completed by 2022.

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three trains derailed in Giza, leaving at least 34 injured - Khaled Kamel/ Egypt Today

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three trains derailed in Giza, leaving at least 34 injured - Khaled Kamel/ Egypt Today

In addition, the ministry announced that 1300 train cars will be added to the railway network in addition to 100 new tractors to increase rail safety.

The Egyptian government decided to focus on the railway sector and worked on rolling out new accident prevention measures to promote rail safety; most recently was the inducement of a new system entitled "the license system", which is expected to take effect in 2019.


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Upper Egypt-bound train derailed on Friday in Giza, leaving 55 people injured- Egypt Today/Khaled Kamel


According to the Railway Authority, approximately 1,000 train collisions take place in Egypt annually.

The new system stipulates that workers must undergo drug and psychological tests as a strict and indispensible condition to take on any rail-related job; that is in addition to advanced trainings and courses to ensure optimal performance.

Also, workers need to undergo similar tests when renewing their work license every two years.

According to the Railway Authority, and under the new system, no worker can be transferred to work in other railway lines before undergoing training and courses dedicated specifically for each respective line.

If any violation related to train operation is recorded, the worker in question will have his license suspended, the authority added in press statements.

In February, two trains collided in Beheira governorate, killing at least 15 people and wounding 40 others, according to the transport minister’s spokesperson, Mohamed Ezz.

Eyewitnesses reported that two separate passenger train carriages swerved out of the railways and crashed into a cargo train.

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