Wed, 10 Feb 2021 - 02:03 GMT
Wed, 10 Feb 2021 - 02:03 GMT
CAIRO – 10 February 2021: Thirteen hours is the minimum duration of a trip from Cairo to Upper Egypt’s city of Aswan, where passengers arrive to their destination exhausted due to the long distance and ride.
What if this duration can be reduced to only four hours? An express train that Egypt will have in two years is expected to solve this problem. One electric train can accommodate up to 4,500 passengers. Imagine saving a day for 4,500 passengers.
Egypt’s new express train network is seen as a pillar that will change the transport map in the country, according to former Egyptian transport minister.
Although Hisham Arafat, Egypt’s ex-transport minister, says the step taken to start having a high-speed train came 40 years late, he believes it will transform the transport system in Egypt thanks to political will to not surrender to the policy of fait accompli, unlike predecessors.
The express train network will save around $280 million to the state and the citizens, besides contributing to Egypt’s entering a new stage in the transportation of cargo by railways.
Et provides in-depth read on the express train project based on statements by the former Minister of Transport Hisham Arafat.
What is Egypt’s current railway status?
Egypt has now one longitudinal railway line extending from Aswan to Alexandria, which is an old line, former Minister Arafat said, adding that the line has reached its maximum capacity due to overpopulation witnessed in the country over the past years.
With Egypt’s population crossed the 100 million, the sole railway line has been there for 170 years, he added. Arafat explained that by the year 2030, “this line will not be able to accommodate the volume of demand on rail transport, with the expected increase in population.”
Why Express trains network important to Egypt?
Former Minister Arafat said that the network will extend to more than 2,600 km that will connect all parts of the country together, where it has two railway lines horizontally in the north (for the first time in Egypt) and two others vertically in the south.
Using the express trains network, citizens will be able to access any part of the country easily and fast.
This network will contribute to reducing pollution, which will be reflected on the health sector and what the state spends in treating diseases resulting from pollution. It will also contribute to saving the fuel that it uses.
When the idea first started?
The high-speed rail network project has always been a dream. The state began studying the project in 2017 for the first time, but it was important to solve power shortage and all-electricity related problems that Egypt has suffered from since the train will run by electricity, Arafat said.
He continued, “that’s why the state worked on solving power issue until it achieved surplus of consumption, and then the state began implementing procedures of the project.”
“Although we are considered the second oldest railway in the world… Egypt has been late more than 70 years in renovating its railway system,” Arafat added.
About the express train
Egypt’s express electric train will connect new urban communities and the Red Sea to the Mediterranean for the first time at a L.E. 360 billion cost.
The new railway will be executed by Siemens over a 1,000-kilometer network at a train speed of 250 kilometers per hour. The project has three phases.
The first phase is of 460 kilometers for L.E. 47 billion and will be inaugurated in two years. It will have 15 stations and is meant to facilitate the movement of people and goods, as well as create job opportunities. It starts from Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez and ends at New Alamein City on the Mediterranean, passing through the Administrative Capital, Giza, 6 October City, Matrouh, Alexandria, and Beheira.
The second phase will establish a railway from Alexandria in the north to Aswan in the south. The third phase will extend a railway from Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez to Hurghada on the Red Sea and then to Luxor.