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Egyptian Minister of Transport and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade Receive the First Batch of the New Coaches Supplied from Hungary

23/02/2021

Within the framework of the political leadership directives towards the comprehensive development of the railway system as well as not operating any outdated trains on the network lines by the end of this year;

The Egyptian Minister of Transport and the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade receive the first batch of the new coaches supplied from Hungary within the deal of manufacturing and supplying 1,300 new railway passenger coaches.

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Today, Lieutenant-General, Eng. Kamel AL-Wazir, Minister of Transport, and Mr. Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade of Hungary, in the presence of all of : Ambassador / Undrash Imra Kovache, Ambassador of Hungary in Cairo; Ambassador / Georgy Borisenko, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Cairo; Ambassador / Christophe Sisley - TransmachHolding Company Chairman, as well as Major General/ Muhammad Al-Sharif, Governor of Alexandria, witnessed the arrival of 4 new coaches from the first batch supplied from Hungary, bringing the total number of the coaches that have been already delivered to Egypt to 260 coaches (256 coaches from Russia, of which 29 coaches arrived this month, in addition to the 4 coaches that arrived from Hungary), as the agreement signed between Egyptian National Railways and TransmashHolding Company, with a value of one billion, 16 million and 50 thousand euros, states that 51% of the coaches deal contracted for are to be manufactured in Hungary and 49% of them are to be manufactured in Russia, provided that the remaining coaches arrive through batches according to the specified schedule of the deal.

In his speech today, the Minister of Transport welcomed the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the accompanying delegation and the Russian ambassador, pointing out that the Hungarian minister's presence at this event reflects the great interest in following up the implementation of this deal, referring to the vital role that President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi played in completing this unprecedented historic deal and the contacts His Excellency made during the mutual visits and meetings he held with the Hungarian and Russian leaderships, which achieved this agreement.

The Minister of Transport also took an advantage of this opportunity to offer the greetings and appreciation to the Republic of Hungary, praising the level which the relations between the two friendly countries has reached, whether at the level of the political leadership or at the governmental level in various fields; political, economic, educational, cultural and other fields, pointing to the constant aspiration to push these distinguished relations to broader prospects due to Hungary's great experience and capabilities, that’s because of Egypt's keenness to enhance cooperation with it, whether at the bilateral level or as  result of its membership in the European Union.

Lieutenant-General, Eng. Kamel AL-Wazir, explained that Egypt is adopting an ambitious plan to develop all state facilities, foremost among which is the transport sector in all its axes, which suffered a state of stagnation and deterioration during the past decades until His Excellency President / Abdel Fattah El-Sisi assumed the presidency, where a strategic plan for sustainable development in Egypt within the framework of Vision 2030 was drawn up, including the need to work on establishing a modern and robust roads network linking the regions of Egypt and linking Egypt with the world, considering that transport is the locomotive of development; which is reflected in all areas of transport, starting from digging the new Suez Canal as a global waterway in a record time, and the establishment of an economic zone for the Suez Canal, as well as our ambitious projects in the various transport sectors, foremost of which is the railway system, which has witnessed a great break-through during the recent period.

The Minister of Transport added that the passenger coaches fleet at ENR had become obsolete, which led to a decrease in the efficiency of operation on the network and the poor levels of service provided to the public of passengers, as the number of coaches suitable for operation before contracting for this deal reached about (2155) coaches of various models, which led to the cancellation of some trains on the network as well as the reduction of the number of coaches in some trains due to the lack of the operational coaches, pointing out that this resulted in a decrease in the number of the daily passengers on the network lines to about 700 thousand passengers per day.

The Minister of Transport indicated that, a contract, in this context, was concluded to supply 1300 coaches of various models from the Russian-Hungarian Consortium represented by the Russian-Hungarian TransmashHolding Company. This deal is considered to be the largest in the history of Egyptian railways, as the total of what has been supplied from these coaches so far has reached 260 coaches. Moreover, the rehabilitation and development of 160 coaches has been completed, bringing the total number of coaches currently suitable for operation on the network lines to 2575 coaches, resulting in an increase in the number of railway passengers to reach one million passengers per day, pointing out that it is planned, upon the completion of supplying this deal, the number of passengers reaches (1.5) million passengers per day.

In light of the political leadership's directives towards not operating any outdated trains on the network lines by the end of this year, the minister affirmed that it was planned to rehabilitate and develop all railway coaches so that all passenger trains that will be operated on the network lines of all classes will be new by the end of this year, pointing out that, in a completion for the efforts exerted in the railway sector, a comprehensive plan has been drawn up for upgrading the facility and a accomplishing a major quantum leap at the level of service through the construction of a network of express electric train lines and linking them together. This will be achieved through the development of signaling and communications systems in railway network main lines and modernizing them using a modern electronic system as well as providing them with central control systems in train corridors to prevent human errors; providing the network with the latest global automatic control system (ETCSL1) to increase safety rates and prevent human errors; working on duplicating high-density single lines and electrifying their signaling for a total length of 442 km; constructing (6) new lines to connect the network to the logistics areas and achieving the link to the neighboring countries with a total length of 1813 km; besides developing the operation and control system for level crossings by providing them with a control system working automatically when trains approach the level crossings without human intervention, with a total of 1120 level crossings..

The minster added that in light of the directives of the President of the Republic, coordination is underway with companies specializing in iron and steel industry to establish a factory for the production of rails in Egypt to localize this industry, provide hard currency and create new job opportunities. The implementation of the first factory for the production of rails in Egypt has already started. It is planned that the rails will be produced in this factory within 24 months.

He pointed out that coordination is underway with the Russian-Hungarian Transmasholding Company to establish a new main workshop for the repair, maintenance and development of coaches, and conclude a long-term maintenance contract with the company to maintain these coaches continuously, in a manner that guarantees the transfer of expertise to the Egyptian side.

Lieutenant-General, Eng. Kamel AL-Wazir , confirmed that this achievement comes through the implementation of the political leadership's vision towards developing a set of flexible, comprehensive and advanced policies, foremost of which is providing the highest levels of safety and security on transport networks and expanding transportation means to link Egypt with its regional and international surroundings, pointing to the aspiration to promote investment and technical cooperation with both Russia and Hungary, as the possibilities of the cooperation with the two countries are much greater, especially at this important stage of the development process in Egypt, as well as due to the importance of the involvement of the private sector role in these projects, which is what we believe in and always do through the continuous contact with all local and international companies.

It is worth noting that the deal of 1300 new railway passenger coaches includes 800 air-conditioned coaches (500 third-class A/C coaches, a new service that is offered to passengers for the first time in the history of Egypt Railways, 180 luxurious second-degree Momayaza coaches, 90 luxurious first-class coaches and 30 air-conditioned buffet coaches) and 500 third-class cars with dynamic ventilation, which represents a major quantum leap in the field of rolling stock at ENR, and it will contribute to upgrading the efficiency of the daily operation and regularity of operation schedules and creating a distinct leap in the service provided for the passengers.