(Passengers wait for their train near a damaged train carriage after a bomb exploded at Ramsis railway station in downtown Cairo November 20, 2014. (File photo: Reuter
CAIRO – 9 September 2018: It is expected that the name of the company that will manufacture and supply new six air-conditioned carriages, as per the bid launched by the National Railway Authority in cooperation with the European Bank to restructure Egyptian railways, will be declared at the beginning of 2019.
Head of the Railway Authority, Ashraf Raslan, referred that the authority will choose between two Spanish companies to manufacture and supply new six air-conditioned rail cars with a cost of €126 million each, as part of the bid launched by the National Railway Authority in the cooperation with the European Bank to restructure and develop Egyptian railways.
Five bids were presented to win this tender including companies from Russia, Spain, China and Australia.
He added that only two bids from two Spanish companies fit the conditions of the tender, and the authority will evaluate their technical and financial offers and declare the name of the winner at the beginning of 2019.
He further explained that an agreement was signed in 2014 with the European Bank to finance the purchasing of the six new air-conditioned rail cars to upgrade the current air-conditioned trains along with the 1,300 rails cars that will be manufactured and supplied by the Russian-Hungarian alliance led by the company Transmashholding.
In the same context, the Egyptian Railway Authority is planning to purchase 500 air-conditioned rail carriages for the third class, which comes as part of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s instructions to provide low-income citizens with air-conditioned rail carriages to reduce their suffering in duringhot weather.
Raslan remarked that the new carriages will be among the 1,300 train carriages the authority plans to purchase.
In the same context, the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) issued an international tender in November 2017 to choose a company or alliance that will manufacture and supply new 1,300 rail carriages with the aim to support and develop both passengers and goods transportation.
Around 10 international bids were presented to win this tender, including companies from Russia, Hungary and China. Only two bids, Russian and Chinese, fit the conditions of the tender. The carriages should be delivered 40 months after signing the contract.
Raslan added that the 1,300 train carriages will include 500 third class air-conditioned carriages, 300 first and second class air-conditioned carriages and 500 ordinary third class carriages, referring that the third class air-conditioned carriages are the same as the current ones in terms of size and number of seats.
He referred that 30 percent of the carriages will be manufactured in the Military Production Ministry’s Factory 200 and the factories of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI). The authority will evaluate the two remaining offers and will choose one of them in the upcoming period.
He explained that purchasing the carriages will be funded by the winning bids for the manufacture and supply of 1,300 rail carriages in the form of a soft loan.
In 2016, 1,249 accidents were reported on the Egyptian railway network, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
A total of 13,539 train accidents occurred between 2004 and 2016, reports CAPMAS, citing numbers released by the National Railway Authority of Egypt, which is why the Egyptian government decided to focus on the railway sector and works on rolling out new accident prevention measures to promote rail safety to develop the outdated Egyptian railway network.
Minister of Transport Hisham Arafat remarked in a press statement issued in April that Egypt has a comprehensive plan to upgrade all the aspects of the Egyptian railway system, including the infrastructure, tractors, signals and train carriages, with a total cost LE 55 billion in a five-year overhaul program.