The Egypt National Railways could award contracts to upgrade the signalling equipment for at least two mainline rail tracks before the end of 2016.

These include the signal upgrades for the 45-kilometre Cairo-Banha Line, the 96km Asyut-Sohag line, and the 84km Sohag-Naga Hamady Line.

It is understood that France-based Systra has been appointed as design consultant for the Cairo-Banha Line. Negotiations are also ongoing between ENR and Thales for the supply and installation of the signalling equipment.

The Asyut-Sohag and Sohag-Naga Hamady lines are being tendered as one package. Germany’s Siemens and France’s Alstom and Thales are understood to have submitted an offer. It is understood that the ENR has started reviewing the technical offers, with the financial evaluation expected to begin in the third quarter of 2016. World Bank is providing financing for the project

The upgrade for the signal equipment at the 180km Naga Hamady to Luxor line is in a less advanced stage. It is understood that the ENR has yet to appoint a design consultant and prequalification of contractors is not expected to close until July. It has been indicated that the Korean government is funding the project, with Korean contractors likely to compete for the contract.

At least 800km of mainline rail in Egypt is due for upgrade.