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10 facts about Egypt's high-speed railway system

Egypt has recently undertaken several high-speed railway projects to improve transportation infrastructure and connectivity across the country. 
© Siemens Mobility

Egypt is developing a railway network spanning about 2,000 kilometers, aiming to enhance its status as a global trade and logistics center through the development of ports and transportation systems. Here are some key points about these projects:

New High-Speed Railway Involving International Companies
Egypt is in the process of launching a new high-speed railway linking the Mediterranean and the Red Sea with the participation of more than 10 international companies. Siemens Mobility, Orascom Construction, and Arab Contractors were put in charge of designing, installing, commissioning, and maintaining the line for 15 years. Deutsche Bahn and Elsewedy Electric will manage and operate the first phase running between Ain Sokhna and Marsa Matrouh.

Overview of the Egyptian High-Speed Network
The Egyptian high-speed network will consist of three lines: the already announced “Suez Canal on rails”, a 660-kilometer line connecting the port cities of Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to Marsa Matrouh and Alexandria on the Mediterranean, and the two rail lines signed on 28 May 2022.

Second Freight Line to Connect Mega City to South
The second new line will be a freight line, spanning 1,400 kilometers between Giza's 6th of October City and Abu Simbel near the Sudan border, linking the mega city to rising economic centers in the south.

Noteworthy Features of the Sokhna-Matrouh Connection
The Sokhna-Matrouh connection will feature a passenger line able to carry more than 30 mn people a year as well as a freight line that the German conglomerate referred to as a “Suez Canal on rails.” The passenger trains will travel at up to 250 km/hour, reducing travel time by up to 50%.

Specifications of High-Speed, Normal-Speed, and Freight Lines
The high-speed line will feature nine stations and operate at 250 km/h with 20 trains, while the normal-speed line will have 27 stations with 48 trains operating at 160 km/h, and the freight line will have 20 trains moving at 120 km/h. The third line will connect to the second one through Qena, extending to Hurghada and Safaga on the Red Sea.

NGE Wins Construction Contract for Rail Link
NGE has won a high-speed rail contract in Egypt, covering the construction of 330 km of double track and over 100 turnouts between the cities of Alexandria and Aswan.

Sustainability Advantages of Electrified Network
The fully electrified network will cut carbon emissions by 70% compared to current car or bus transport, supporting Egypt’s efforts in transforming its mobility to a more sustainable one.

Egypt Seeks International Loan for Rail Development
Only recently the government has opened talks with international lenders for a USD 2.1 bn soft loan to help fund the second phase of the 2k-km high-speed rail line between Sixth October and Abu Simbel. German development bank KfW and Italian export credit agency SACE were both named as being involved in the discussions.

Historical Origins of Egyptian Railways
The Egyptian railway system has a long history dating back to the 19th century. In 1851, Abbas I, the successor of Muhammad Ali, contracted Robert Stephenson to build Egypt's first standard gauge railway. The first section of the railway, which was between Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast and Kafr el-Zayyat on the Rosetta branch of the Nile, was opened in 1854. Today, the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) is the national railway of Egypt and is managed by the parastatal Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA).