217 train stations overhauled in 5 years: report

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Mon, 18 Nov 2019 - 12:44 GMT

Passengers are seen at Ramses station, Cairo's main train station, in central Cairo, Egypt, November 18, 2015 - REUTERS/Luke Baker

Passengers are seen at Ramses station, Cairo's main train station, in central Cairo, Egypt, November 18, 2015 - REUTERS/Luke Baker

CAIRO - 18 November 2019: The Ministry of Transportation overhauled 217 train stations between 2014 and 2019, as well as 480.6 kilometers of railroads, the government indicated in a report submitted to the Parliament.

The report showing the government’s achievements between June 2018 and June 2019 is examined by 25 committees at the House of Representatives, including those of planning, education, health, workforce, religious affairs, industry, economy, agriculture, and housing. Each will prepare a report evaluating the government’s work and putting forward demands by November 20. The reports will be discussed by the plenary session in order to draft a final report.

The Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) signed with PRL (Progress Rail Automotives) a number of contracts worth $466.3 million after meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi last week.

The American company will supply 50 train engines over 22 months, will carry out long-term maintenance for 41 engines by June 30, and will upgrade 50 others within 30 months from the conclusion of the deal. The company will also provide maintenance services and spare parts for the 141 train engines for 15 years. The value of contracts will be secured through soft loans, except for $27 million that will be paid by ERA’s treasury.

In July, ERA endorsed the technical specifications of two passenger railcars supplied by Transmashholding in September. Those are part of a contract to supply 1,300 railcars. One of the railcars would be tested in Hungary, so it will be granted the safety certification by the European Railway Agency. The other will be tested in Egypt. Afterwards, the first batch of railcars in the contract will be delivered in accordance with the timeline set by both parties.

The contract states that 650 railcars will be supplied from Hungary, 500 will be delivered by Russia, and 150 will be manufactured by Egypt under the supervision of Transmashholding. An Egyptian locomotive factory will be established as part of a plan to localize the locomotive industry and transfer the know-how to workers, technicians, and engineers in the sector. The factory will produce the 150 railcars and will provide maintenance services.

The representatives of ERA and Transmashholding agreed to hold further meetings to study the possibility of cooperation in rail infrastructure, mobile rail, workshops, new lines, and maintenance of existing railcars.

In the same month, an official source told Egypt Today that ERA needs 12 rail test machines to detect and repair defects in railroads, revealing that contracts to purchase eight of those are being finalized.

ERA will receive four rail test machines worth €8.5 million by the end of 2020 supplied by an Austrian company with which a contract was earlier signed. The machines will enable the authority to better diagnose defects in the railroads, which will increase safety, and inhibit derailment accidents.

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