CAIRO: Egypt’s first locally-manufactured air-conditioned train will operate August 6 to mark the inauguration of the New Suez Canal; Transportation Minister Hany Dahi was quoted by Youm7 Sunday.
“The train was fully assembled in Egypt while 50 percent of the materials used in manufacturing the train were made in Egypt’s SEMAF railway factory of the Arab Organization for Industrialization,” Dahi said.
In June, the ministry received Chinese chassis of two air-conditioned trains as part of a 2.3-billion EGP ($301.5 million) deal of 212 train-carriages deal, Youm7 reported.
In 2014, Dahi stated that railways in Egypt “urgently need 41 billion EGP to upgrade 700 outdated carriages,” according to the state-owned MENA.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 plan to build a factory to locally manufacture train carriages in the Delta town of Abu Za’bal. The factory will save foreign currency used to import railway equipments, 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.
Dahi said that the losses of attacks on subways and railways reached 260 million EGP in January 2015.