Bombardier and Orascom set to win Cairo’s first monorail

A consortium led by Bombardier Transportation and Orascom Construction is finalising discussions with the Egyptian government to build a $1.5bn monorail that would connect Cairo with its western suburbs. 

According to a statement released by Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt’s minister of housing, the 52km line would be funded by a 14-year loan, and would be completed by 2018. The source of the loan was not disclosed. 

The deal has not been signed yet, but if it does go ahead, the line would run from the existing Cairo metro to the satellite cities of Sheikh Zayed and 6th of October. 

Madbouly made his statement after a meeting with deputy transportation minister Hany Azer, during which the technical and financial offers by the consortium were approved. 

The line, which will use Bombardier’s Innovia 300 system, will be the first monorail in Egypt and one of the few urban light rail systems in Africa.  

It will use driverless trains that can travel up to 80kmh, carrying as many as 48,000 passengers per hour in each direction. 

The Canadian company is currently delivering a 3.6km Innovia 300 system for the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh and a 24km line in São Paulo.  

Orascom is an Egyptian contractor. In March of this year it formed a consortium with Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company to develop a $3bn, 3GW coal-fired power plant in Egypt.     

Photograph: Cairo’s population of 20 million struggle with inadequate public transport (Sturm58/Wikimedia Commons)

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