Egypt: a contract with Siemens to build three high-speed train lines

German Siemens high-speed train (Illustrative image).


Text by: Alexandre Buccianti

2 mins

Egypt and the German company Siemens have just signed a colossal contract for the construction of three railway lines for a high-speed train over 2,000 km long.

Siemens' biggest contract in 175 years of existence

 ", according to the CEO of the German giant.

The details of this contract.


Read more

from our correspondent in Cairo,

There is a first

railway line

which is already under construction.

It connects Suez to the new administrative capital, passes through the suburbs of Cairo and goes up towards the Mediterranean: Alexandria then Alamein and finally Marsa Matrouh near the Libyan border.

Its cost is estimated at around twenty billion euros.

The second line will leave from Hurgada in the Red Sea to end in Luxor.

And the third line, which is more than a thousand kilometers long, will leave Cairo to go down the entire Nile valley and arrive at Abu Simbel, in the far south of Egypt.

These last two lines will have a tourist dimension while the first Suez-Méditerranée wants to join the two economic and administrative poles of the country.

Many crashes

This is a real revolution for Egypt.

Although the

Egypt State Railways

is one of the oldest railway companies in the world, it had declined to a point where delays became the rule, very frequent breakdowns, obsolete signaling, not to mention accidents: more than 2000 in 2018 according to official statistics.

And then there are the

train disasters

that left hundreds dead.

In 2002, the worst train disaster took place with 360 deaths.

Moreover, Egyptian trains are slow, between 80 and 120 km/hour and run on diesel.

The three new lines are electrified and trains will run at 250 km/h for TGVs, 180 for regional trains and 120 for freight trains.

The first line should be completed in 2027 but some sections will be operational from next year.

This project is not immune to criticism.

The first concerns the gigantism of the project and its staggering cost estimated at several tens of billions of euros.

Does it meet a real need?

Is it a priority?

Will Egyptians, nearly a third of whom live below the poverty line, have the means to take these new trains?

For opponents of President Sissi's power, it is a pharaonic project to his glory, like the doubling of the Suez Canal.

To these criticisms, the government opposes the ecological argument of electric trains for the transport of men and goods in this year when Egypt will host

COP 27


The Minister of Transport evokes a trans-African railway Alexandria-Cape Town.

►Also read: Mexico: a judge orders the suspension of work on a section of the "Mayan train"


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  • Egypt

  • Transportation