The signing was attended by Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, Head of the Railway Authority Ashraf Raslan, and Plasser’s regional manager Wolfgang Waldner.
In this regard, Madbouly confirmed that signing the contract comes as part of the major steps taken by the government to promote the railway service and scale up the safety of Egypt’s railway.
He referred that the total cost of the contract is € 6.8 million, including the required spare parts, and a contract to maintain tracks for five years.
He added that the new track recording car is one of the most developed trucks in the geometry measuring system, which will replace the old tracks owned by the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) for 40 years.
He further explained that the car uses ultrasound and video recordings to detect tracks and rails’ flaws and analyze the recorded data to give reports and set plans for the railway’s maintenance and renovations to achieve the necessary safety requirements.
In the same context, Waldner expressed his thanks to Egypt’s Railway Authority, stressing that the company will put the contract’s items into effect at the agreed dates.
The train accidents that occurred in the last few years incurring many deaths and injuries had made the need for developing railways in Egypt a fundamental necessity that cannot be further postponed, triggering experts and parliamentarians to propose solutions for preventing frequent accidents.
Hence, the government has stepped up several railway investments to improve its safety. To implement its 2018 plans of developing new tracks, the ERA will purchase 1,300 rail carriages.
As a part of the efforts exerted to improve railway in Egypt, the ERA issued an international tender in November to choose the company that will manufacture and supply 1,300 rail carriages. This will support and develop both passengers and goods transportation.
Around 12 international companies were invited to this tender, as seven companies should submit their offers before December 20. Offers were made in the tender by companies from Russia, Hungary, China, Italy and Spain to manufacture and provide the carriages. The carriages should be delivered 40 months after signing the contract.
In addition, due to the old locomotives of the ENR fleet, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has delivered a €290 million financing to supply 100 locomotives to provide the customers with higher quality services.
Furthermore, EBRD will help ENR provide technical assistance support to develop and implement a comprehensive freight reform program to separate the freight operations from trains transporting people.
The Egyptian Ministry of Transport and a coalition of Chinese firms signed on August 8, 2017, an agreement worth $1.24 billion to build a light rail transit in new districts around Cairo.
In July 2017, ENR signed $575 million deal with U.S.-based General Electric to supply 100 new locomotives for both passengers and freight rail services and refurbish 81 old engines. The dealincludes a 15-year technical support agreement and technical training program for more than 275 engineers and technicians to improve their capabilities and technical skills.
In October 2017, Arafat declared during a press conference that Egypt will purchase 1,000 new trains worth LE 16 billion ($9 billion) to develop the old railway system, adding that he expects that the upgrade project will be finalized in 2020 to 2022.
Source : Egypt Today