Egypt receives 22 new train coaches as part of deal for 1,300 carriages: Transport ministry

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Jun 2020

Train coach
A picture showing a train carriage during its receipt at the Alexandria port on Wednesday (photos courtesy of Transport Ministry)

Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir announced on Tuesday that Alexandria port has received an initial batch of 22 new railway carriages as part of a deal with Russia's Transmash to supply Egypt with 1,300 new carriages, a statement by the ministry said.

The 1.16 billion euro deal, the largest in the history of Egyptian railways, is between the Egyptian Railways Authority and Transmash, the largest manufacturer of locomotives and railway equipment in Russia.

The 22 new carriages are third-class coaches with dynamic ventilation, the statement said, adding that the first batch also includes another 10 new passenger carriages that have already been shipped from St. Petersburg port and are due to arrive during the first week of July.

Other batches are scheduled to arrive upon a specified timetable at 35 carriages per batch.

The deal comprises 500 aerodynamically ventilated third-class coaches as well as 800 air conditioned ones, 500 of which are third-class air conditioned carriages as a new service offered to passengers for the first time in Egypt. The 800 air conditioned coaches also include 180 luxury second-class coaches, 90 luxury first-class ones and 30 air conditioned cafeterias, the statement said. 

Egypt’s railway network is among the world’s oldest, with 9,570km of tracks running across the country. It transports 500 million passengers annually, an average of 1.4 million passengers each day, according to the Egyptian National Railways (ENR).

Nevertheless, according to experts, the railway network, which has 85 percent of its signalling system at crossings still using manual signalling rather than automation, needs to be radically upgraded.

In May, the transport minister said that the debt of the Railway Authority has reached about EGP 250 billion, as it owes the Central Bank about EGP 100 billion in addition to EGP 150 billion in loans from the state budget for the projects currently being implemented by the ministry.

Wednesday's statement added that El-Wazir believes the new coaches will contribute to raising the efficiency of daily operations and the regularity of operating schedules, as well as achieve a huge qualitative shift in the level of services provided to passengers.

Train coach
One of the received third-class coaches from inside

train coach
One of the received third-class coaches from inside

train coach
The exterior of a received third-class carriage at Alexandria port on Wednesday

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