The National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) is examining expressions of interest from more than 40 contractors for the project, which will involve the construction of a 4.5-kilometre underground section between Ataba and Abbassiya, including five underground stations and a light repair shop. Ataba station will act as a junction between the new rail link and line 2, which runs from northern Cairo to Giza in the southwest.
The French Interinfraconsortium and Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation- both of which have done work on lines 1 and 2 - have indicated that they are interested in working on line 3. The first phase of the project will be tendered in five packages: signalling, civil works, power supply, track work and rolling stock.
The second phase of line 3 will run the 6 kilometres from Abbasiya to Heliopolis. The next phases will entail extending the line westwards to Imbaba. When completed, the 33-kilometre metro line will connect the western districts of Cairo with the international airport.
Preliminary and basic designs for the first two phases of line 3 have been drawn up by France's Systra. The French transport consultancy has also drawn up a masterplan which recommends the expansion of the metro system to eventually include up to six lines.
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