Railway Authority signs agreement to modernize 91 locomotives



Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - 10:48 GMT


Mon, 17 Sep 2018 - 10:48 GMT

(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)

(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 – 17 September 2018: The Egyptian National Railway Authority signed a memorandum of understanding Monday with the US-based Progress Rail Caterpillar Company to modernize 91 locomotives and purchase 50 electro-motive diesel locomotives.

Minister of Transport Hisham Arafat witnessed the signing between Head of Railway Authority Ashraf Raslan and Vice President and Strategic Advisor to the Executive Office at Caterpillar Billy Ainsworth.

Under the agreement, Caterpillar Company will modernize and reform 91 rail locomotives, provide 15-year maintenance for 141 rail locomotives after the parties sign an executive agreement, and deliver 50 electro-motive diesel tractors.

In this regard, Arafat referred that this agreement comes as part of the Ministry of Transport’s plan to modernize rail locomotives to provide a better service to passengers and use the railway as a mean of transportation for goods, reducing road burdens and increasing the railway’s financial returns.

Hence, he added, the ministry works on purchasing new tractors, rehabilitating the old ones and providing spare parts through signing contracts.

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.

The Egyptian government decided to focus on the railway sector and worked on rolling out new accident prevention measures to promote rail safety.

Minister of Transport, Arafat, remarked in a press statement issued in April that Egypt has a comprehensive plan to upgrade all the aspects of Egyptian railway system, including the infrastructure, tractors, signals and train carriages, with a total cost LE 55 billion in a five-year overhaul programme.


Egypt’s Railway Authority is currently upgrading 156 train stations with a total cost of LE 1 billion to improve the services, install the necessary electrical and firefighting equipment, build ramps for people with special needs, deploy civil safety personnel and restructure tracks.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly signed on August 7 a supply and maintenance contract with Austria’s Plasser & Theurer Company to provide Egypt with a Track Recording Car EM100U to measure and analyze defects in Egypt’s railway system and upgrade it.

Madbouly confirmed that signing the contract comes as part of the major steps taken by the government to promote the railway service and scale up the safety of Egypt’s railway.

He referred that the total cost of the contract is €6.8 million, including the required spare parts, and a contract to maintain tracks for five years.

He added that the new track recording car is one of the most developed trucks in the geometry measuring system, which will replace the old tracks owned by the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) for 40 years.

He further explained that the car uses ultrasound and video recordings to detect tracks and rails' flaws and analyze the recorded data to give reports and set plans for the railway’s maintenance and renovations to achieve the necessary safety requirements.

In addition, due to the old locomotives of the ENR fleet, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) delivered a €290 million financing to supply 100 locomotives to provide the customers with higher quality services.

The EBRD will help ENR provide technical assistance to develop and implement a comprehensive freight reform program to separate the freight operations from trains transporting people.

The Egyptian Ministry of Transport and a coalition of Chinese firms signed on August 8, 2017, an agreement worth $1.24 billion to build a light rail transit in new districts around Cairo.

In June 2017, Egypt signed a $575 million agreement with the US-based General Electric Co to provide 100 multi use locomotives, 15-year technical support and spare parts as well as maintenance and upgrade for 81 trains.

To construct new rail lines, Arafat discussed with a delegation from China's AVIC international and China Railway Group Limited (CREC) an offer by the two companies to build Ain Sokhna-Al Alamein railway line.

The two sides reviewed the proposed route of the line, which comprises five main stations; namely Ain Sokhna, New Administrative Capital, 6th of October, Alexandria and Al-Alamein, as well as six sub stations.

The minister asked the Chinese delegation to make some adjustments to the proposed project so that the speed would be increased to 250 km/h instead of 160 km/h and an Alexandria/Borg El-Arab line would be added to the first phase and transformed into a double electric line, according to MENA.



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