Sat, 24 Oct 2020 - 02:10 GMT
Sat, 24 Oct 2020 - 02:10 GMT
CAIRO – 24 October 2020: Investments in the railway sector are projected to be LE142 billion over one decade between 2014 and 2024.
Such investments are embodied in the purchase of new railcars and engines, the overhauling of existing ones, the modernization of signaling systems, and the renovation of certain stations.
The Ministry of Transportation indicated in a statement that the total length of railroads in 2020 is 9,570 kilometers, and that it will be 10,200 in 2024 and 11,530 in 2030.
The ministry overhauled 217 train stations between 2014 and 2019, as well as 480.6 kilometers of railroads, the government indicated in a report submitted to the Parliament in November.
The set plan provides the renovation of 1,102 railroads and the upgrade of the control systems of 1,120 railroads at a cost of LE2.5 billion. So far, 700 of the former, and 439 of the latter have been finished.
The Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) is also constructing Bashtil Station at LE4.7 billion. The project – located in Giza - is aimed at serving Upper Egypt by linking together different means of transportation, and carrying out maintenance for the vehicles reducing the load on central stations in Cairo and Giza. The station will house a shopping mall as well as hangers and workshops for maintenance.
"An Indian company finished the renovation of 117 out of 125 railroads introducing an electronic control system," Minister of Transportation Kamel al-Wazir told press in February after a meeting with Indian Ambassador Sanjay Bhattacharyya.
ERA is modernizing 14 signaling systems across the country at a cost of LE46.8 billion secured through soft loans. The authority will soon begin working on the signaling systems of Alexandria/Luxor Line, Banha/Zagazig/Ismailiyah/Port Said Line, and Zagazig/Abou kbir Line.
In 2019, ERA signed a contract with an Austrian company for the latter to supply five rail test machines, which will enable the authority to better diagnose defects in the railroads increasing safety, and inhibiting derailment accidents.
In the same year, ERA signed with PRL (Progress Rail Automotives) a number of contracts worth $466.3 million.
The American company will supply 50 train engines over 22 months, carry out long-term maintenance for 41 engines by June 30, and upgrade 50 others within 30 months since the conclusion of the deal. The company will also provide maintenance services and spare parts for those 141 train engines for 15 years. The value of contracts will be secured through soft loans, except for $27 million that will be paid by ERA’s treasury.
In July 2019, ERA endorsed the technical specifications of two passenger railcars that were supposed to be supplied by Transmashholding in September of the same year. One was tested in Hungary, so it would be granted the safety certification by the European Railway Agency. The other was tested in Egypt.
The contract states that 650 railcars will be supplied from Hungary, 500 will be delivered by Russia, and 150 will be manufactured by Egypt under the supervision of Transmashholding. An Egyptian locomotive factory will be established as part of a plan to localize the locomotive industry in Egypt and transfer the know-how to workers, technicians, and engineers in the sector. The factory will produce 150 railcars and also provide maintenance services.
The contract consists of 500 third-class air-conditioned railcars, 180 second-class air-conditioned railcars, 90 first-class air-conditioned railcars, 500 third-class dynamic-ventilation railcars, and 30 air-conditioned cabooses.
The contract is funded by a soft loan worth €1.02 billion granted by Hungarian Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and State Specialized Russian Export- Import Bank (Eximbank of Russia). The 1,300 railcars shall be delivered over batches within 40 months by the end of 2021 since the loan procedures were finalized in December 2019.
ERA had also signed a deal worth $602.05 million with General Electric for the latter to supply 110 engines as well as spare parts for 15 years, and rehabilitate 81 others of the current fleet at Tebin Workshop in Cairo.