Egypt railway loses $33 mn since mid-August shutdown

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Oct 2013

Suspension of train services following dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins is costing Egyptian Railway Authority LE4 million per day

File photo: Egyptian men rush to catch a train after hours of waiting due to a train drivers strike at the main train station in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, April 8, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egypt's railway system has lost LE228 million (roughly $33 million) due to the suspension of passenger services since mid-August, an Egyptian Railway Authority official told Ahram Online on Wednesday.

"Egypt's railway is ready to resume operations at full capacity but we are awaiting security clearance," added the official who asked for anonymity.

The interior minister banned passenger services across Egypt after security forces killed hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters while clearing sit-ins in Cairo and Giza on 14 August.

On Wednesday, the transport minister said train services would resume "soon."

Fourteen out of 1,100 passenger trains resumed operations on 28 September.

Freight services partially resumed on 17 September.

According to its official website, Egyptian railways transport around 500 million passengers annually (1.4 million per day).

This is the first long-term closure of the railway system since the 18-day uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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