EGYPT: The second phase of Cairo metro Line 3 was inaugurated by Interim President Adly Mansour on May 7, accompanied by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Transport Minister Ibrahim el-Demiri.

The 7·7 km eastern extension links Abbasiya and Al Ahram in Heliopolis, with three intermediate stations. Construction started in 2009 and was completed five months ahead of schedule at a cost of E£4·3bn. One earth-pressure balance tunnel boring machine and one slurry TBM were used.

Civil engineering was undertaken by a Vinci-led consortium including Bouygues Travaux Publics, Arab Contractors and Orascom Construction. Colas Rail, Alstom, Thales, Arab Contractors and Orascom were responsible for E&M works; ETF and Orascom for tracklaying; and Alstom and Thales for signalling and automation.

Seven air-conditioned trains, assembled locally, have been added to the fleet. The 12 km Line 3 is now expected to carry 700 000 passengers/day.

The third phase is to be an 18 km western extension with two branches and 15 stations. This is being partly financed with €940m in loans from Agence Française de Développement and the European Investment Bank. The final phase would bring the line to Cairo International Airport in the northeast of the city, taking the total length to 43·5 km.