Mon, 22 Feb 2021 - 11:36 GMT
Mon, 22 Feb 2021 - 11:36 GMT
CAIRO – 22 February 2021: A source at the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) told Egypt Today that the first of six Talgo trains will be received this year.
The train was supposed to be delivered by the Spanish company in March, but a delay is likely to occur because of the suspension of operation because due to COVID-19.
The source negated that the reason is requesting certain modifications by Minister of Transportation Kamel al-Wazir saying that changes are normal in any deal and do not cause delays as long as they are not technical.
He added that the contract includes a phase of reviewing the design, and that the first train will be experimented on Egyptian railways for six months.
Egypt struck a deal in 2020 with Talgo for the latter to supply six trains at €157 million. That is in addition to a 6-year maintenance contract.
Egypt is revamping the railway sector so as it signed a deal with Transmashholding worth €1.02 billion that is being funded through a soft loan offered by Hungarian Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and State Specialized Russian Export- Import Bank (Eximbank of Russia).
The 1,300 railcars shall be delivered over batches within 40 months by the end of 2021 since the loan procedures were finalized in December 2019. Dozens of units have been delivered.
The contract states that 650 railcars will be supplied from Hungary, 500 will be delivered by Russia, and 150 will be manufactured in Egypt under the supervision of Transmashholding. An Egyptian locomotive factory will be established as part of a plan to localize the locomotive industry in Egypt and transfer the know-how to workers, technicians, and engineers in the sector. The factory will produce 150 railcars and also provide maintenance services.
The contract consists of 500 third-class air-conditioned railcars, 180 second-class air-conditioned railcars, 90 first-class air-conditioned railcars, 500 third-class dynamic-ventilation railcars, and 30 air-conditioned cabooses.
Egypt has also received 100 out of 110 train engines in a $602.05-million deal. The contract also consists of the rehabilitation of 81 others of the current fleet at Tebin Workshop in Cairo, and the supply of spare parts for 15 years, in addition to offering technical support.
The Ministry of Transportation revealed there is more to those engines as they are remote control locomotives that can be operated from towers designed for that purpose.
Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) Sami Abdel Tawab told Al Watan newspaper in August that the new engines are mainly operated by the drivers and that the control tower serves to intervene in emergencies.
The country is also replacing thousands of kilometers of railroads, and modernizing the signaling systems of the network.