Egypt's Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir discussed on Wednesday with a delegation from Germany's Siemens progress in the project to modernise Egypt’s railway signalling system along the Banha-Port Said line.
The project, implemented under an agreement signed between the Egyptian National Railways and the German technology giant in December 2015, aims at raising the safety level along the railway line passing through Benha, Zagazig, Ismailia, and Port Said, and the line connecting Zagazig and Abu Kebir.
The upgrade plan is based on the installation of 21 main towers and 19 secondary towers.
The German delegation told El-Wazir that Sharqia's Abu-Hamad station tower is expected to be operational before the end of October, while Benha's Sheblengah station is set to go into service by 2020.
Siemens' representatives said the rest of the towers are scheduled to be operational successively as per the underway electronic link system, according to a statement issued by the ministry following the meeting.
El-Wazir underscored the necessity of intensifying work on this project, given its significance in increasing the safety a of trains, the statement added.
The minister noted the project aims to renew the signalling system and set up a modern electronic system instead of the current mechanical interlockings system to increase safety, reduce the duration of trips, and increase the number of daily passengers and cargo trains.
El-Wazir also said the upgrade targets maximising freight transport from Port Said.
The statement added that the ministry is working on current and future ventures to modernise the signalling systems over 1,800km, and with a total cost of EGP 46.8 billion.
Siemens has been operating in Egypt since 1859 with its technologies having been implemented in different areas across the country.