Egyptian National Railways locomotive (Photo Skoda Group)

EGYPT: Škoda Group has signed contracts worth more than €1bn to modernise and maintain at least 280 Egyptian National Railway diesel locomotives.

Škoda Group said the two contracts signed on June 26 mark its expansion into Africa. The first covers the overhaul of locomotives over a period of nine years. The second is to provide full-service maintenance for up to 15 years.

Two prototype locomotives will be modernised at Škoda Group’s site at Šumperk in the Czech Republic. The remaining locomotives will then be overhauled and maintained in Egypt.

The traction and pneumatic systems will be overhauled, and the braking systems and electrical wiring comprehensively modernised. The cabs will be ‘transformed’, with new control panels installed and the train control system modified. The locomotives will also undergo ‘a major design makeover’.

Škoda Group will also provide training in both Egypt and in the Czech Republic to enable Egyptian staff to carry out work on the locomotives to European industrial standards.

‘These contracts mark a historic milestone for Škoda Group’, said CEO Didier Pfleger. ‘We are uniquely positioned to deliver superior locomotive rehabilitation and overhaul services. Our aim is to use our skills and experience to build lasting relationships and make a long-term contribution to improving the quality of the rail sector in the Middle East and Africa. The success of being awarded with this project is further confirmation of our strategy of expanding into foreign markets.’

Marek Herbst, Senior Vice-President Service, said ‘we are convinced that full-service is the most efficient way for our customers to receive quality care and maintenance for their entire fleet of vehicles.’