Cairo-Upper Egypt trains partially back on track

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Nov 2013

Although complete restoration of services remains on hold, says a Railway Authority official, 14 journeys connecting the capital to Upper Egypt once again attempt to resume

Egypt train station
File photo: A strike by train conductors keeps passengers waiting at Cairo's main railway station, 7 April, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

After a crippling months-long halt, railway services connecting Cairo to Upper Egypt partially resumed again Wednesday, state news agency MENA reported.

An earlier attempt last week to resume railway services between Cairo and Upper Egypt was thwarted hours later due to security concerns.

Trains connecting the capital to Alexandria were partially restored in October, with a current 42 passenger trains now operational between Cairo and the Mediterranean.

The Wednesday move brings 14 trains back on track, raising the number of functioning trains to 56, out of a total 188 between Cairo and nationwide destinations. 

A Railway Authority media advisor told Ahram Online that complete restoration of the railway services to the 1100 daily trips which ran prior to the halt remains on hold.

The move, however, is expected to gradually ease the crisis, as the long-term closure of the Egyptian National Railways – the first in recent years – has largely hampered internal travelling across Egypt.

Under ordinary conditions, Egypt's trains transport an estimated 500 million passengers annually at a rate of 1.4 million per day, according to the National Railway Authority website.

Train services to and from Cairo were suspended mid-August as a result of the widespread unrest that followed a violent crackdown by security forces on Islamist protest camps, which left hundreds dead.

The Railway Authority has also incurred LE4 million in daily losses as a result, an Egyptian authority official said in October.

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