Egypt, Siemens sign contract to build world’s 6th largest high-speed rail system

Ahram Online , Saturday 28 May 2022

Egypt signed a contract with Siemens Mobility on Saturday to build about 2,000 kilometres of high-speed rail in the country, the sixth largest of its kind in the world, the German train manufacturer said.

Siemens Mobility contract
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi witnesses the signing of the contract between Transport Ministry of Egypt and Siemens Mobility on Saturday 28 May, 2022 Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidential spokesman Facebook page.


Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi witnessed the signing of the contract, which according to Siemens will connect 60 cities nationwide via trains that can operate at up to 230 km/hour.

The country’s first high-speed rail network will include three lines and will enable about 500 million journeys annually, the company said, noting that the network will be accessible by around 90 percent of Egyptians.

The first line of the $23 billion project will link Ain Sokna city on the Red Sea with both Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh and will extend for 660 kilometres.

The second line will stretch 1,100 kilometres, linking Cairo in the north with Aswan’s Abu Simbel in the south, while the third line will connect Luxor in Upper Egypt with Hurghada city on the Red Sea.

The contract was signed by Siemens Mobility and its consortium partners Orascom Construction and The Arab Contractors with the Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels (NAT).

Siemens Mobility said its share in the contract is 8.1 billion euros and includes the initial contract of 2.7 billion euros signed in September 2021 for the first line of the project

The project will provide up to 40,000 job opportunities in Egypt in addition to 6,700 jobs provided indirectly in Egyptian suppliers, the German company said.

Siemens Mobility also said it will equip the entire rail network with 41 Velaro eight-car high-speed trains, 94 Desiro high-capacity four-car regional train sets and 41 Vectron freight locomotives.

The company said it will also install a safe and reliable signaling system on the three lines based on the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 technology. This is in addition to an efficient power supply system.

Rail technology pioneer

“Today is a good day,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a recorded speech to hail the signing of Saturday’s contract and cooperation between Egypt and Siemens.

“It is a good day… for Egypt and a good day for economic relations between our two countries and a good day for climate change mitigation,” Scholz said.

He added that Egypt is becoming a pioneer in rail technology in Africa, hoping that other countries will follow this example.

“The contracts being signed today will see trains replacing millions of journeys by car, truck and bus,” Scholz said. “This means less smoke, fewer carbon emissions and better air quality.”

Scholz said traveling in Egypt via train will be fast, clean, comfortable, affordable and safe, adding that Egypt’s decision to implement the project in cooperation with Siemens is “bold and far-sighted.”

“[It is] a groundbreaking decision both for the Egyptian people and Egypt as a business location; a decision that will transform your country and is also a milestone for German-Egyptian economic relations,” the German chancellor added.

Largest in Siemens history

Meeting with El-Sisi in Egypt during the signing of the contract, Siemens President and CEO Roland Busch said the high-speed rail project in Egypt is the largest in the company’s history since its establishment 175 years ago.

El-Sisi said the new electric train network comes as a consolidation of the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and Germany in the field of infrastructure.

The president added the network, which represents a great addition to the country’s transportation system, marks the beginning of a new era for railways in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East.

Besides being much faster than other transportation means, the fully electrified network implemented by the German company in Egypt will cut carbon emissions by 70 percent compared to current car or bus transport, the company said.

“In Siemens you have found a strong partner that exemplifies what ‘Made in Germany’ means; a company that this year celebrated 175 years of innovation, inventions and technological revolutions” Scholz said.

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