Egypt opens first electric light railway to link Cairo and new capital

Liao Liqiang (right), China’s ambassador to Egypt, talks to train drivers on the inaugural day of Cairo’s 10th of Ramadan light railway line (From the Facebook page of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt)
The initial phase of Egypt’s first electrified light rail system, built and part-financed by Chinese firms, began operating on Saturday after a ceremony attended by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and China’s ambassador to Egypt, Liao Liqiang.

When all three phases are complete, the 10th of Ramadan line will run for 90km and will connect east Cairo with a number of desert towns and the New Administrative Capital.

The first phase has a length of 70km and includes 12 stations. When fully built, the system will have 16 stations and is expected to carry as many as 500,000 passengers a day.

It is being built as a public–private venture by a consortium led by China Railway Group and AVIC International, another state-owned Chinese company. It will be operated by RATP, the French corporation that runs public transport in the greater Paris area and elsewhere.

Kamel el-Wazir, Egypt’s minister for transport, said the first phase of the line would run 22 trains and would have a capacity for 360,000 passengers, Global Times reports.

The opening ceremony was held at the Adly Mansour Station, which is now the largest transfer hub in the North Africa and Middle-East region.

Ambassador Liao commented: “The 10th of Ramadan LRT was a remarkable cooperation programme between China and Egypt under the Belt and Road Initiative, generating important meaning for our bilateral relationship.”

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