Egypt plans new high-speed rail scheme

13 March 2018
Egypt received prequalification applications for the first high-speed railway in the country in January

Egypt is planning to build a new 1,500 kilometre high-speed railway linking Sokhna and Marsa Alam on the western shore of the Red Sea, according to Transport Minister Hesham Arafaat.

He did not disclose a specific timeline for the procurement and execution of the project.

It is understood the scheme  is the next phase of the government's plan to build 2,000 kilometres of new high-speed railway, to complement Egypt's existing mainline network.

Last year, Egypt sought to prequalify firms for the 534km railway linking Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea coast and the new Alamein city on the Mediterranean coast.

At least 20 firms submitted prequalification applications for the contract.

The scheme, along with two other monorail projects, is to be executed using a combined engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and financing model.

Arafaat said Egypt also updated an old  law to allow private sector companies to invest and operate in the country's rail sector.

According to Arafaat, the updated law "will allow private companies to invest in the construction of new lines as well as other activities relating to financing and operating existing lines."

The old law was enacted in 1980 to establish and define the role of the Egyptian National Railway (ENR) as the sole owner and operator of the country's mainline railway assets.

Egypt is modernising its existing mainline railway, which at 9,600 kilometres, is the longest of its kind in Middle East and Africa region.

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