CAIRO: China-made chassis of two air-conditioned trains will arrive in Egypt this month as part of a deal of 212 train carriages, Youm7 reported Wednesday.
The imported structures will be assembled at the SEMAF Railway factory in Helwan, south of Cairo.
The 2.3-billion EGP ($301.5 million) deal is part of Egypt’s plan to develop its railway system.
In 2014, the Minister of Transport Hany Dahi stated that railways in Egypt “urgently need 41 billion EGP to upgrade 700 outdated carriages,” according to the state-owned MENA.
Egypt will also plans to build a factory to manufacture train carriages locally in the Delta town of Abu Za’bal in Qalyubia. The factory will save foreign exchange used to import railway equipment, Egyptian National Railways chief Ahmed Hamed told Youm7 in April.
Train accidents increased by 74.7 percent in 2013, amounting to 781 accidents in comparison to 447 accidents in 2012, according to annual bulletin by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
In addition to the aging carriages, the railways are vulnerable to daily violence and destruction witnessed in Egypt’s streets. Minister Dahi said that the losses of attacks on subways and railways reached 260 million EGP in January 2015.
Additional reporting by Reda Hebeishy