Egyptian Ministry of Transport signed on Tuesday an EGP 22bn agreement of supplying and manufacturing 1300 new railway passenger vehicles, in what might be considered the biggest deal in country railway history.
The new agreement was signed with the Russian-Hungarian alliance, led by Russia’s TransMach Holding.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, Minister of Military Production Mohamed El-Assar and representatives of the Russian company and the head of the Egyptian National Railways attended the signing.
In a press conference, Arafat said that the agreement will improve the level of service. He noted that other agreements on manufacturing railway cars also have been signed with the Ministry of Military Production.
Moreover, Arafat highlighted that the 1300 new railway cars equal 34% of all Egyptian railway vehicles. He added that the ministry is planning to achieve its plan to improve Egypt’s railway infrastructure by 2020.
In previous statements, Arafat said that the country’s railway needs EGP 45bn to improve the whole sector between 2017 and 2020.
Millions of Egyptians, including students and workers, depend daily on the railway, which is the focal point between the country’s governorates.
However, Egypt’s railways have suffered for a long time from lacking any safety standards through successive governments.
According to an official statement by the Egyptian National Railways and Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics in 2017, that 12,326 rail accidents took place from 2006 to 2017.
Since the beginning of this year, several railway accidents occurred which resulted in the killing and injuring dozens. The Badrashin accident is the latest in Egypt’s railway crisis, which led to the killing of 15 and injuring 40 others.
Egypt’s deadliest rail accident ever was in 2002, when a fire swept through an overcrowded train along a line south of Cairo, killing more than 370 people.