Cairo, Egypt (Urban Transport News): Siemens Mobility and its consortium partners Orascom Construction and The Arab Contractors have signed a contract with the Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), a governmental authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport of Egypt, to create the sixth-largest high-speed rail system in the world. The Siemens Mobility share of the combined contract is 8.1 billion EUR and includes the initial contract of 2.7 billion EUR for the first line signed on September 1, 2021.
The contract was signed by Lieutenant General Kamel Al Wazir, Minister of Transport Egypt, and Dr. Roland Busch, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Siemens AG, as well as Osama Bishai, CEO Orascom Construction and Sayed Farouk, President and CEO Arab Contractors. This was witnessed by His Excellency, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egyptian President, His Excellency, Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, Dr. Essam Wally, Chairman of Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels, His Excellency, Frank Hartmann, German Ambassador, as well as Michael Peter, Siemens Mobility CEO. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sent a video message, underlining Germany’s support for the project and its importance for German-Egyptian bilateral relations and global climate protection.
The 2,000-kilometer state-of-the-art high-speed rail network will connect 60 cities throughout the country, with trains that can operate at up to 230 km/h. This means that approximately 90 percent of Egyptians will have access to this modern, safe, and integrated rail system. With a modal shift to train transport, the fully electrified network will cut carbon emissions by 70 percent compared to current car or bus transport, further supporting Egypt’s efforts in transforming its mobility to a more sustainable one. Together with civil works partners Orascom Construction and The Arab Contractors, Siemens Mobility will provide its comprehensive turnkey services to design, install, commission, and maintain the entire system for 15 years.
“The new electrified train network comes as a consolidation of the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and Germany in the field of infrastructure and will represent a valuable great addition to Egypt’s transportation system, marking the beginning of a new era for the railway system in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East,“ said His Excellency, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
“The opportunity to provide Egypt with a modern, safe, and affordable transportation system that will transform every day for millions of Egyptians, create thousands of local jobs and reduces CO2 emissions in transport, is an honor for us. Not only will it promote economic growth, it will also enable Egypt to take a leap forward in rail transportation. With our latest technology in rolling stock, signaling, and maintenance services, Egypt will have the sixth largest and most modern high-speed rail network in the world,” said Roland Busch. “In addition, it is the biggest order in the history of Siemens!”
“This landmark transportation project is truly historic for both Egypt and Siemens and we are honored to partner with the Ministry of Transport to reimagine the future of transportation in Egypt. The extensive 2,000 km high-speed rail network will connect 60 cities and enable around 500 million journeys a year. It will link the country like never before, fight pollution and global warming, while also providing an effective and reliable method for the movement of goods,” said Michael Peter. “Together with our partners, we will develop from scratch a complete and state of the art rail network that will offer a blueprint for the region on how to install an integrated, sustainable, and modern transportation system.”
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 today. The second line will be about 1,100 kilometers and run between Cairo and Abu Simbel near the Sudan border, linking the mega city to rising economic centers in the south. Furthermore, it will allow for the development of communities up and down the Nile, which will subsequently provide additional opportunities for small and family-owned businesses to flourish. The third line will cover 225 kilometers. This line will connect the world heritage archeological sites in Luxor with Hurghada by the Red Sea. In addition, this rail link will significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of freight transport for goods and materials between Safaga harbor and inland locations.
To support the installation of the rail network, the consortium will directly create up to 40 thousand jobs in Egypt, with an additional 6,700 at Egyptian suppliers and indirectly through the wider Egyptian economy.
To equip the entire rail network, Siemens Mobility will deliver trains based on its proven product platforms. This includes 41 Velaro eight car high-speed trains, 94 Desiro high-capacity four car regional train sets, and 41 Vectron freight locomotives. On all three lines, Siemens Mobility will install a safe and reliable signaling system based on the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 technology, as well as the power supply system that will deliver efficient and continuous energy.
Siemens Mobility will provide its latest digital products and platforms that will optimize operations throughout the network for the trains, rail infrastructure and subsystems. The digital application Railigent will be used to provide comprehensive asset management and maintenance to guarantee the highest availability. Digitalized depots will enable seamless processes from problem identification to correction. Automated Ticketing, Digital Station and Power Management solutions will help to meet the challenges surrounding capacity and efficiency in stations.