• Egypt agrees $600m rail deal with Chinese firm
  • Egyptian National Railway looks to improve safety

A subsidiary of Beijing-based China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has announced that it has reached an agreement with the Egyptian National Railway authority (ENR) for the rehabilitation of railway lines in the greater Cairo area.

The contract, which has not been finalised, is expected to be worth $600m according to a statement released by the Chinese firm.  

The contract will boost CRCC’s presence in the region following a $4.3bn agreement with Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) for the renewal of the second phase of a freight rail link between Dammam and Riyadh.

ENR also awarded France’s Alstom a $100m contract to supply signalling equipment for the Beni Suef to Assiut line in Egypt.

The contract 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.

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.

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