updated on 18th Aug 2022 11:45 posted on 28th May 2022 18:15
On 28 May 2022, 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 country’s high-speed rail system. 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 31 August 2021.
The contract was signed by His Excellency, Lieutenant General Kamel Al Wazir, Minister of Transport Egypt, and Dr. Roland Busch, President and 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, and other politicians. 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 high-speed rail network will connect 60 stations throughout the country and enable around 500 million journeys a year, with trains that can operate at up to 230 km/h. (It should be mentioned here that, in general, high-speed lines are those where a line speed of at least 250 km/h is permitted on new-built lines.)
This means that approximately 90 % 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 % compared to current car or bus transport, 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.
Roland Busch said: “The opportunity to provide Egypt with a modern, safe, and affordable transportation system that will transform the everyday 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. In addition, it is the biggest order in the history of Siemens!”
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. The second new line will be about 1,100 km 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 km, connecting 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 40,000 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 eight-car Velaro high-speed trains, 94 Desiro HC four-car regional EMUs, and 41 Vectron locomotives destined for freight duty. On all three lines, Siemens Mobility will install a signaling system based on the ETCS Level 2 technology, as well as the power supply system.
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.
We asked Siemens:
- in what year is it envisaged that the new system will be complete and will start regular service?
"Project management started right after the first contract was signed last year. Delivery is done in phases. We are currently unable to provide any details on the exact delivery period, as this depends on and is influenced by the customer. After the customer has handed over the construction site, we can go into operation in 3 years on the first line."
- following completion of the new network, will it be handed over to ENR? What voltage system will be used? 15 or 25 kV?
"Our client in this project is the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT). Thus, we deliver our products and services to NAT. The client is currently in the process of identifying an operator for the entire system. Siemens Mobility will maintain rolling stock and infrastructure for 15 years. Similarly it will be with the fleet of the Siemens-built vehicles for the new network, which will be fed by 25 kV 50 Hz AC."