Egypt and Siemens sign a contract for the construction of the 6th largest high-speed rail network in the world – Urban and Transport – Egypt

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attends the signing of the contract between the Egyptian Ministry of Transport and Siemens Mobility on Saturday, May 28, 2022 Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson’s Facebook page.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi witnessed the signing of the contract, which Siemens says will connect 60 cities across the country via trains that can travel up to 230 km/h.

The country’s first high-speed rail network will include three lines and will allow around 500 million trips a year, the company said, noting that the network will be accessible to around 90% of Egyptians.

The first line of the $23 billion project will connect the city of Ain Sokna on the Red Sea with Alexandria and Marsa Matruh and will stretch for 660 kilometers.

The second line will run for 1,100 kilometers, connecting Cairo in the north to Abu Simbel of Aswan in the south, while the third line will connect Luxor in Upper Egypt to the city of Hurghada on the Red Sea.

The contract was signed by Siemens Mobility and its consortium partners Orascom Construction and The Arab Contractors with the Egyptian National Tunneling Authority (NAT).

Siemens Mobility said its share of the contract is €8.1 billion and includes the initial €2.7 billion contract signed in September 2021 for the project’s first line.

The project will provide up to 40,000 job opportunities in Egypt in addition to 6,700 jobs provided indirectly at Egyptian suppliers, the German company said.

Siemens Mobility also announced that it will equip the entire rail network with 41 eight-car Velaro high-speed trains, 94 four-car Desiro high-capacity regional trains and 41 Vectron freight locomotives.

The company said it will also install a safe and reliable signaling system on all three lines based on European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 technology. This adds up to an efficient power system.

Pioneer of railway technology

“Today is a good day,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a recorded speech to welcome Saturday’s contract signing and cooperation between Egypt and Siemens.

“It’s a good day…for Egypt and a good day for economic relations between our two countries and a good day for climate change mitigation,” Scholz said.

He added that Egypt is becoming a pioneer in railway technology in Africa, hoping other countries will follow suit.

“The contracts signed today will see trains replace millions of car, truck and bus journeys,” Scholz said. “That means less smoke, less carbon emissions and better air quality.”

Scholz said traveling in Egypt by train will be fast, clean, comfortable, affordable and safe, adding that Egypt’s decision to implement the project in cooperation with Siemens is “bold and far-sighted”.

“[It is] a revolutionary decision both for the Egyptian people and for Egypt as a place of business; a decision that will transform your country and which is also a milestone for German-Egyptian economic relations,” the German Chancellor added.

Largest in Siemens history

When meeting with El-Sissi in Egypt during the signing of the contract, Siemens Chairman and CEO Roland Busch said the high-speed train project in Egypt was the largest in history of the company since its inception 175 years ago.

El-Sisi said the new electric train network is a consolidation of the successful infrastructure cooperation between Egypt and Germany.

The President added that the network, which represents an excellent addition to the country’s transport system, marks the beginning of a new era for railways in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East.

In addition to being much faster than other means of transport, the fully electrified network implemented by the German company in Egypt will reduce carbon emissions by 70% compared to current transport by car or bus, said the society.

“In Siemens you have found a strong partner who embodies what ‘Made in Germany’ means; a company that this year celebrated 175 years of innovation, inventions and technological revolutions,” said Scholz.

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Jose P. Rogers