Egypt's railway system needs one year to show signs of improvement: Minister

Ahram Online , Wednesday 7 Sep 2016

The government's wider plan to develop Egypt's rail system will take two to three years, transport minister says

Egyptians check the wreckage of a train after it derailed near the village of Al-Ayyat in Giza on the southern outskirts of the capital Cairo, on September 7, 2016. (AFP)

Egypt's Minister of Transportation Galal Said said Wednesday that Egypt's railway system would take a year to show signs of improvement as it has endured deterioration over a long time.

According to state news agency MENA, Said added that repairing and developing the railway system would take the ministry two to three years.

"The development programme includes improving the existing rail system and carriages and buying new ones," he said. 

The minister's statement came after a deadly train accident in Giza's Al-Ayyat Wednesday morning in which five people were killed and 27 injured when three train carriages derailed.

Giza governor Mohamed Al-Dali issued compensation: EGP 5000 for the families of deceased and EGP 2000 for those injured in the train accident.

Egypt's railway system is operated manually, with employees responsible for opening of crossings by communicating with drivers, a practice that is considered potentially unsafe and unreliable.

Al-Ayyat, about 70 km south of Cairo, also witnessed the worst train disaster in Egypt when a train packed to double capacity caught fire, killing 373 in 2002. 

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