Railway line October 24, 2006 – via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 16 November 2017: Spanish company Thales Group established a three-year contract with the Egyptian National Railway (ENR) estimated at €127.2 million to modernize its signaling and telecommunications systems and all works related to the 180-kilometer long section of line.
The line runs between the towns of Asiut, Qena and Nag Hammadi, located in the Upper Egypt portion of the Alexandria–Cairo–Aswan rail corridor.
The project is among ENR's infrastructure transformation plan, promoted by the Ministry of Transportation and financed by the World Bank, according to Spanish newspaper El Periódico. The project aims to improve traffic and allow trains to travel around the country at higher speeds.
The president of Thales Group said that ENR is the biggest railway operator in Africa.
The project also includes full protection of signaling and telecommunications systems against cyber-attacks, to ensure safety and system availability and to take all necessary measures to protect civilians from risks of cyber-attacks.
Egyptian efforts to improve its railway network include comprehensive renovations by the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA), which will include 110 new train conductors and 1,300 new train carriages due to start working in January, the head of ERA, Sayed Salem said on Wednesday.
The ERA is working on renovating 1,220 kilometers of railway line, of which 200 kilometers have already been completed, Salem added in a press conference.
Banha-Alexandria and Beni Suef-Assuit train signaling systems will be updated to an electronic system, which will be finished by January 2019, Salem noted.
The SNCF, France’s national state-owned rail way company will also provide technical assistance and training.
Additionally, the private sector is expected to become involved in the railway sector in 2018 as amendments to the Railway Act — which would open up the sector to private companies—are expected to be introduced to parliament next month, according to Hesham Arafat, Egypt’s Transportation minister.
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