Transport minister apologizes for Sohag train collision, promises atomization of railways to avoid human error

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Sat, 27 Mar 2021 - 04:13 GMT

Train collision accident in Sohag on March 26, 2021 - Youm7

Train collision accident in Sohag on March 26, 2021 - Youm7

CAIRO – 27 March 2021: Minister of Transport Kamel al-Wazir apologized on Saturday for the Sohag train collision, promising to upgrade the railways in a high-tech system so human error may be avoided.

“I offer my sincere condolences for the victims and wish the injured a speedy recovery. I and all the railway workers also regret and apologize for this painful accident; may God help us so [such accidents] do not happen ever again,” Wazir said in a press conference.

By June 2022, the first phase of the comprehensive development of the railways will be completed in June 2022. The total distance of the three main lines (Cairo-Alexandria, Benha-Port Said, and Cairo-Aswan) will be completely secure and without human operator, the minister added.

Kamel also said L.E. 225 billion have been allocated to develop the railways at a distance of 10,000 kilometers out of L.E. 1.5 trillion to upgrade the entire transport sector.

The upgrade will include establishing new lines and doubling existing ones, importing and upgrading carriages, renovating stations, signals, transfer systems, as well as training railway workers.

Wazir said that by the end of 2021, no old carriages will be on the railway. Meanwhile, the second phase of the development will be complete in mid-2024. He highlighted that when the express train operates around the same time, pressure o the current railways, especially the Upper Egypt line, will be alleviated.

Wzir explained that either the railways shut down until 2024, which is practically impossible because a million people take the train every day, or begin operating the railways automatically, which will delay commutes by 25%. He added that in the past period, the Transport Ministry tried to find a middle ground between the second option and depending on human operators because passengers complained about delays. However, fully-automatic operation of the railways is the only solution to avoid accidents despite delays, he continued.

“I promise you all and promise the president and the prime minister. We will work around the clock and exert our best efforts,” the minister said.

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