Egypt signs deal with South Korea to buy 32 air-conditioned subway trains

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 Aug 2018

File Photo: Passengers wait as a strike by drivers suspends train traffic in Egypt at the main station in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt has signed a multi-million euro deal with South Korea to buy 32 air-conditioned subway trains for the Cairo metro system's third line, Egypt's transport ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The purchase from railway vehicle manufacturing company Hyundai Rotem will be financed through a 243 million euro loan from South Korea at an interest rate of 0.1%. The loan will be repaid over 33 years following a 20-year grace period, according to Egypt's transport minister Hisham Arafat.

The first four trains will be delivered by the end of 2019, while the rest will come into operation at a rate of one train every month.

The Cairo metro's third line, which connects the central Abbasiya district and the northeastern suburb of Heliopolis, currently has 15 operating trains, according to Arafat. The construction of the final phases of line, whose first phase opened in 2012, is still underway.

More than 3 million people use the system everyday throughout greater Cairo.

Egypt hiked the price of metro tickets last May from a base fare of 2 Egyptian pounds to 3.5 or 7 Egyptian pounds depending on the number of stations commuted. Officials said the increase came against the backdrop of accumulated losses of 618.6 million pounds for the metro system.

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