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Siemens Hopes To Ease Egypt’s Transportation Woes With New Trains

With traffic at an all-time high and deteriorating road safety conditions, Siemens is negotiating a deal to ease Egypt’s transportation woes.

written and photographed by Dominika Maslikowski

As Siemens negotiates on a bid to supply Egypt with 100 locomotives in a deal worth millions of euros, I’m standing at the company’s factory site in Munich as German workers attach a massive front end to a locomotive.

The facility has a history of more than 175 years of locomotive building and employs some 800 employees who churn out one locomotive every two days. I’m here to get a behind-the-scenes look at production, and talk to officials about what such improved trains can do for Egypt.

siemens-allach-egypt-trains

It’s chilly in Munich as we take a short test ride through the autumnal countryside in a Siemens locomotive, shooting through the scenery in the operator’s wagon. When the ride is over, we sit down with Siemens officials to get more details of the bid.

“We cannot disclose everything because we are in the negotiations phase,” Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Mainline Transport, tells me of the bid that concerns light commuter trains that can reach 160 km/hour. “But we are very eager to deliver locomotives to Egypt. On top of delivering highly efficient, highly reliable locomotives, we think the value add that we propose is the localization in Egypt.”

siemens-allach-egypt-trains-deal

Siemens officials say the plan includes more than just an assembly point in Egypt, but the use of the country’s steelworks to locally manufacture the whole body. It’s something the company has done in other countries and has experience in, Soussan adds.

The Allach Plant that we tour is a short drive from Munich’s rainy city center, and is the lead factory for all Siemens locomotive plants and supports worldwide localization projects. Everything here is fully synchronized, from the warehouse to welding to final assembly. The company’s portfolio covers all the needs of a growing city, from trains to buses. “This is something we should aim for in a city like Cairo — that you’re able to use different modes of transport integrated together to get people or freight from Point A to Point B,” says Eng. Tarek Aly, president of the Mobility and Logistics Division.

If Siemens’ bid is successful, it will be a next chapter in the company’s long history in Egypt. Siemens and the Egyptian National Railways go back to the 1960s, when the company first introduced relay interlocking in Egypt on the Assiut-Sohag line. Other projects have included the introduction and development of automatic train control in the 1980s and, most recently, Siemens was awarded a project for the modernization of the signaling system on the Banha-Port Said line, due to be completed in 2020.

The country’s transport sector plays a significant role in economic development, but it also faces major challenges. Rail is the essential mode of transport for millions of low-income Egyptians and the challenges are to provide safe and economic service with mainline and metro networks that also must cover the increasing traffic capacity.

Keeping train tickets affordable when Egypt gets new and improved locomotives will require enhancing the volume and revenue of the more profitable services of the ENR — the freight transport, Aly says. ENR is about 98 percent passenger and 2 percent freight, but its share in Egypt’s overall freight transport volume is only about 3 to 4 percent, Aly adds. “There is a huge potential to increase ENR’s share in the freight transport and hence increase its revenue from this profitable service. Moreover ENR can further develop and market the first and business class passenger trains they have recently introduced to further finance the economic trains.”

Severe traffic congestion in major cities also plays a factor in increasing the economic and human costs of transport. The focus of bringing new trains to Egypt, Aly concludes, must be to increase capacity while guaranteeing safety and quality, and securing funding.

“A high-quality rail service is not a luxury, but an inevitable necessity in any developing country,” Aly says. “Quicker and more reliable transport will decrease the financial and human cost Egypt’s economy has to endure daily and will also have positive effects on the quality of life of millions of Egyptians. The price Egypt’s economy has to pay for the time and money lost due to the severely growing traffic congestion and safety problem in Egypt’s major cities is enormous. The average speed in Cairo during peak hours is estimated at less than 6 km/hr. Investing in mass transport rail systems which will result in shifting the passenger and freight traffic volumes from road to rail will have a significant positive effect on Egypt’s economy and the quality of life.”

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INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
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INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
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Jojn Doe, CEO
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INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
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Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
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Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
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Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
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Address:
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INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
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Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
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INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy