France’s Alstom has won a $100m contract from Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to supply signalling equipment for the Beni Suef to Assiut line in Egypt.

The contract also involves maintenance of the 240-kilometre-long Beni Suef to Assuit line for five years.

Delivery will start in 2016 and the system is due to be operational by 2019, the French company confirmed.

Under the contract, Alstom will provide its new electronic interlocking system (EIS) to replace the existing electromechanical one, as well as trackside equipment, power supplies and a telecommunication system.

ENR have awarded the work to the French firm with the aim of increasing the number of trains on their network by 80 per cent.

The project is financed by the World Bank and was launched by Egypt’s Transport Ministry as part of an initiative to modernise and enhance the network’s operations to improve safety.

Authorities have been facing an increasing amount of pressure since the 2011 revolution to modernise train safety, with several fatal crashes in recent years being blamed on ageing systems and ailing safety measures.

“Alstom has been supporting the country’s railway projects for 30 years, including the Cairo metro, and aims to accompany the country for more projects to come,” says Gianluca Erbacci, senior vice-president of Alstom Transport Middle East and Africa.

In November 2014, MEED reported that Alstom had been awarded a $58.7m contract to supply AC transmission systems for electrical installations in Saudi Arabia.