Egypt received 13 new railway carriages at the Port of Alexandria, bringing the total number of railway carriages to 186 as part of a bigger deal between Egypt and Russia to manufacture and supply 1,300 new cars, stated Minister of Transportation Kamel El-Wazir in a cabinet statement on Thursday.
The railway cars deal comes within the framework of the political leadership directives to make a comprehensive overhaul of the railway system, the statement added.
The agreement between the Russian Transmash holding company and the Egyptian National Railways (ENR), which is worth more than 1 billion euros, is the largest in the history of the Egyptian railway sector.
The 13 carriages that arrived are third-class vehicles with aerodynamic ventilators. El-Wazir said that the rest of the cars will be delivered in batches on a monthly basis in accordance to the timeline set under the deal.
The new deal aims to improve transportation services as well as enhancing safety and security considerations in the operation of trains, El-Wazir pointed out.
The deal shall contribute to raise the efficiency of daily operation and the regularity of the operating schedules, which coincides with the ventures of upgrading infrastructure, including signalling systems at crossings that are still using manual signalling rather than automation; renewal of railway bars and improvement of stations and workshops.
According to the statement, the deal of the 1300 new railway carriages comprises 800 air-conditioned carriages of which 500 third-class cars will have dynamic ventilation, a new service offered to passengers for the first time in the Egyptian Railway system, 180 luxury second-class coaches, 90 luxury first-class ones and 30 air-conditioned cafeterias.
In early December, a batch of 22 new rail carriages arrived at the Port of Alexandria. Egypt’s railway network is among the world’s oldest, with 9,570 km of tracks running across the country.
It transports 500 million passengers annually, an average of 1.4 million passengers each day, according to ENR.