Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

New Rail Line to Connect Egypt's Coasts

Fri 09 Feb 2024 | 03:42 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

For the second time in less than ten days, Kamel El-Wazir, Minister of Transport, conducted an inspection tour of the work sites of the first line of the "Ain Sokhna - Al Alamein - Marsa Matrouh" high-speed train project. 

Accompanied by the leaders of the General Authority for Roads and Bridges and the National Authority for Tunnels, the Minister inspected the first line project spanning from Ras El Hikma to Borg El Arab, covering a distance of 180 km.

The tour started with inspections of the stations at Ras El Hikma, El Dabaa, and Sidi Abdel Rahman, located along the fast train's route on the international coastal road.

 These stations are strategically positioned within these cities to serve residents, workers, and visitors, providing a positive incentive for employment, tourism, residence, and investment projects that require a skilled workforce and safe transportation. 

The Minister then proceeded to monitor the progress in the construction of the Al Alamein station, which will serve the new city of Al Alamein, the tourist movement there, and the northwestern coastal area, in addition to the cargo transport movement. 

The Hammam station, serving as a regional station for the city of Hammam and several north coast villages, is notably close to the international coastal road. Borg El Arab station, the first station after the high-speed train's western diversion, currently serves the old city of Borg El Arab, the new city, the industrial area nearby, and is one of the largest stations on the line with six tracks.

The Minister reviewed the execution status of the remaining stations, focusing on the progress in construction, station finishing, passenger movement from the main entrance to the ticket halls and platforms, the availability of elevators for passenger convenience, and the administrative and investment exploitation plan for various station spaces.

Throughout the tour, the Minister, along with the leaders of the General Authority for Roads and Bridges, examined the project's route, industrial works including bridges, tunnels, culverts, concrete slopes protecting the bridge sides, and flood protection works in this area. 

This included the execution of several bridges where the high-speed electric train intersects with main roads. The Minister emphasized high-quality work standards and round-the-clock efforts to complete the project as planned. He highlighted that the civil works and constructions are carried out by leading Egyptian companies specialized in these fields, under the supervision of the project's general consultant, the French company Systra.

The Minister also reviewed the sections of the route delivered to the Siemens, Orascom, Arab Contractors consortium for the execution of basalt bedding, rail installation, and electrical catenary poles, followed by electromechanical works and the schedule for manufacturing and supplying the rolling stock for the first line, with the first regional train already arrived and the manufacturing of regional or high-speed trains proceeding as planned.

In a press statement, the Minister emphasized that the fast electric train network, covering various parts of the republic, will not only serve as development arteries but will also serve new and existing urban and industrial areas, such as industrial zones in Helwan, 15 May, Borg El Arab, 6th of October, New Minya, New Assiut, and others, as well as tourist areas in Giza, Sohag, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, the Red Sea, and other tourist locations in Egypt. 

It will also serve new agricultural areas in the New Delta, Future of Egypt, Egypt's Eden, West Minya, Toshka, and East Oweinat, in addition to creating logistical axes linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea, the north and south of the country, industrial areas with seaports, and new agricultural development areas with consumption areas and export ports.

Furthermore, the network will connect tourist areas, diversifying tourism programs within a single trip, and contribute to integrating with airports, seaports, and highways to achieve multimodal transportation. 

It will link seaports with dry ports and logistic centers, serving sustainable urban development goals, creating new development axes, and reducing environmental pollution. 

The Minister pointed out that the three lines of the fast electric train network would provide about 36,000 direct job opportunities and approximately 36,000 indirect job opportunities.