From left, Egypt's Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir, PM Mostafa Madbouly, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, Siemens CEO Roland Busch (photo courtesy of the presidency)
On Thursday, Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with Germany’s Siemens for the construction of a high-speed electric train line linking Egypt’s eastern and northern coasts. The step came a day after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with German Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser in Cairo. Ahram Online lays out some of the details of the project below.
Not just a line
The project is not just a train line; it is an integrated system of a high-speed electric railway network linking the whole country with a total length of 1750 Kilometres and a total speed of 250 Kilometres per hour.
The project's goals
Besides working side-by-side with the 1000 kilometer-long diesel-powered train network in transporting people, the newly signed project will help be part of the Egyptian development process through connecting the country's industrial districts together in order to transport cargo from and to ports nationwide. A number of trains will be designated to transport tourists to and from many destinations too. Also, the project aims to link the country with neighbouring countries.
Four main directions
The project comprises four lines, with the first to be completed in 2023. The first line - which is 460km long - will pass through the Suez governorate’s Ain Sokhna, the New Administrative Capital, Cairo, Giza, Six October city, Alexandria and New Alamein city. The second will link the Red Sea's main port with Alexandria's port as well as Matrouh's Gargoub port. While the third connects Hurghada and Safaga with Qena and Luxor. The last line will link Six October city with Luxor and Aswan.
The project will be implemented by Siemens along with other Egyptian companies. Each line is set to be implemented within two years.
The total cost
The total cost, estimated at EGP 360 ($23 billion), will be paid to Siemens and the Egyptian companies involved in the project. According to the deal, the cost will be paid six years after the beginning of construction work over a period of 14 years. The cost covers the maintenance work over 15 years.
Easy trips for tourists
The project will provide two-hour trips from Luxor to Hurghada for tourists.
Helping Upper Egypt train lines
The lines passing through Egypt south aim at alleviating pressure on the already overwhelmed traditional Upper Egypt train lines.
The project will create 15,000 job opportunities and 2000 permanent jobs during the first stage only.