Egypt ENR train with GE Wabtec loco

EGYPT: The World Bank’s executive board has approved a US$440m loan to support the Railway Improvement & Safety for Egypt project.

The RISE programme has a total value of US$681·1m, including a US$241·1m contribution from Egyptian National Railways. It is a continuation of the ENR Restructuring Project concluded in 2020, which included the modernisation of signalling on the Alexandria – Cairo and Beni Suef – Nag Hammadi routes.

RISE includes continuation of work on those routes, and renewal of track and signalling between Cairo and Beni Suef.

It also aims to improve safety for passengers and staff through the introduction of an upgraded Safety Management System, and efforts to improve punctuality with a target of increasing the number of on time trains from 75% to 90%.

RISE will also support the Ministry of Transport in aligning ENR with international best practice by introducing performance-based funding.

Around 270 million passengers used the Egyptian main line network in FY2019, up from 228 million in 2015 and 247 million in 2010.

‘Modernising and reforming Egypt’s railways is critical to meeting citizens’ travel needs and boosting the overall economy’, said Minister of Transport Lieutenant General Kamel El Wazir when the loan was approved on March 5.

‘Improving the service for millions of passengers per day is a priority, particularly because citizens depend on ENR to access jobs and do other tasks, including fulfilling personal errands. Increasing freight transport is also a critical objective, which will increase the economy’s overall competitiveness.’