Egypt’s Transportation minister, Hesham Arafat, said during a press conference on Saturday. that the ministry is planning to purchase 1,000 new trains worth EGP 16 billion, in aims to upgrade the country’s old railway system. The new trains will be financed by facilitated loans, and should improve services for passengers, Arafat said, adding that a complete overhaul of the country’s railway system would cost Egypt EGP 70 billion.
The new cars will cover 1,400 kilometres of tracks, the minister said. Arafat expects the railway upgrade project to be finalized sometime between 2020 to 2022.
More than 300 million riders use trains annually, Arafat added, pointing out that the railway system has not been updated in 50 years.
In the last two decades, mass-casualty train accidents have become common throughout the country. Thousands of passengers have been killed or injured in major train accidents caused by derailment of outdated carriages, and other malfunctions.
The most recent fatal accident on the tracks came last August when a train collision near Alexandria left 41 people dead and 179 injured.
Egypt to purchase new trains for EGP 16 bln, railway revamp EGP 70 bln: minister