Egyptian firms Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors, along with Germany’s Siemens Mobility, have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels to design and build Egypt’s first high-speed rail system for a reported cost of $23bn.
Signed in Cairo on 14 January in the presence of Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the agreement was for a high-speed network 1000km in length, with the first line running 460km from Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez in the east, through the New Administrative Capital near Cairo and on to El Alamein on the Mediterranean coast.
Set to cost around $3bn, this initial line would carry passengers and freight, Orascom said.
News site Ahramonline reported that this line is set to be finished in 2023.
It also reported that a second line would link the Red Sea’s main port with Alexandria and the port of Matrouh Gargoub; a third would link Hurghada and Safaga with Qena and Luxor; and a fourth would link Six October city with Luxor and Aswan.
Orascom, Arab Contractors and Siemens Mobility will be paid some $23bn for building and maintaining the entire network, the site said.
"We continue to build on our track record as a major player in the transportation sector," said Orascom Construction chief executive Osama Bishai. "Following our joint success with Siemens on Egypt’s mega power projects, we are pleased to partner once again with our long-term repeat partner. This project will connect distant parts of Egypt in a sustainable manner while contributing to the infrastructure and economic development of the country."
Siemens Mobility chief executive Michael Peter said: "We are delighted that the Ministry of Transport is seeking to put their trust in us to deliver this important project. Our digital leadership and comprehensive turnkey services will bring an integrated and state of the art high-speed rail system, that will provide a technology boost for the country and create local jobs. The system will significantly enhance passenger experience and reduce travel time for millions of Egyptian people."
Image: The first line will run 460km from Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez in the east, through the New Administrative Capital near Cairo and on to El Alamein on the Mediterranean coast (Courtesy of Siemens Mobility)