Egypt is intensifying its focus on modernizatione national railways and infrastructure development by improving the safety, efficiency, and regional connectivity of its railway through an upgrade of 10,500 kilometres of the network.
On Friday, the Italian Ambassador in Cairo Giampaolo Cantini discussed with Egypt’s Minister of Transportation Kamel El-Wazir ways of cooperation in establishing a control system for the diesel-powered railway network and the modern electric one, according to a statement by the transport ministry.
In a meeting on Friday, Cantini and El-Wazir discussed joint cooperation in improving Egypt’s crucial railway network. In the same context, Cantini expressed Italian companies’ interest in strengthening cooperation with Egypt in the maritime transport sector.
Furthermore, the Italian ambassador added that the Italian logistics companies are interested in cooperation with Egypt in the field of transporting goods and establishing logistical areas.
On the other hand, El-Wazir praised the collaboration between Egypt and Italian’s Saipem in the transport sector in establishing an integrated system for a high-speed electric railway in Egypt.
It’s worth noting that Egypt’s WAPHCO has named an EPC consortium, led by Italian builders Saipem, as the preferred bidder for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Abu Tartour-Qena and Safaga-Hurghada railway lines used for heavy freight and passenger traffic.
Lately, Italy’s Saipem and Salce have been awarded a tender issued by El Wady for Phosphate Industries and Fertilizers’ (WAPHCO) to rebuild the Abu Tartour-Qena freight railway line.
Moreover, the consortium will reconstruct the railway cargo line and add a passenger extension from Hurghada through Safaga.
The Saipem project includes the immediate establishment of a railway line linking Ain Sokhna with the New Alamein city, passing through the New Administrative Capital, according to the ministry of transportation.
Earlier, the minister of transportation indicated that the Egyptian government follows a comprehensive plan to maximize the system of goods transportation via railways, inland ports, and logistical areas to serve the business community. These ports, according to the minister, are being constructed on a scientific basis.
It’s worth mentioning that Egypt is also in talks with Russia over the purchase of high-speed trains.
Egypt gets a big boost for improving railways
The word bank‘s Board of executive directors has approved $440 million in grant support to Egypt to enhance its railways (ENR).
The scheme will focus on modernizing the signalling of the line of Cairo-Giza-Beni Suef network and supporting the reforms needed to enhance the ENR’s performance and competitiveness, according to Marina Wes, the World Bank director for Egypt and Yemeni.
In the same context, she added that the money will introduce an upgraded safety management to improve the safety procedures for Egyptian passengers.
Earlier, Egypt’s government contributed to the massive scheme with $241 million.