Muscat: As part of the railway modernisation contract for the Cairo-Alexandria line, which carries more than 25 million passengers per year, Egypt National Railways (ENR) has selected Thales for the extension to modernise the 48-km Cairo-Benha section.
This project will improve traffic safety and security to allow trains to travel at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour, as opposed to the current 120 kilometres per hour. Current traffic volumes are also expected to double. All of these changes will increase passenger and goods capacity on the backbone line that links the North and South of the country from Alexandria to Cairo and all the way to Aswan.
The Cairo-Benha section consists of 9 stations and 48 km of tracks and carries some of the busiest traffic on Egypt’s railway network. Thales will extend to this section its signalling technologies that are currently being implemented on the Benha-Alexandria section of the line. Harmonisation of signalling technology along the entire Cairo-Alexandria corridor will ensure that ENR masters every decisive moment of the operation of this heavy traffic line.
This extension includes the supply of new signalling technologies such as 9electronic interlocking devices, 11 level crossings and field elements, and also the interface to existing assets. The scope of the Thales contract also includes the overhaul of associated energy systems, refurbishment of existing technical buildings and construction of new ones in different locations. With this extension, the traffic control centre will be able to manage the whole line from Cairo to Alexandria.
Egyptian railways have embarked on an ambitious programme of railway modernisation and Thales, thanks to its diverse experience in the field of rail transport, has been involved right from the start, first on the Cairo-Alexandria project and more recently with the signing of the contract for the modernisation of the signalling and telecom systems on the 180-km section between Asyut and Nagh Hammadi in the Upper Egypt portion of the main Alexandria–Cairo–Aswan corridor. ENR is the second-largest railway operator in Africa, with a network of more than 5,000 km of track, and the second-oldest in the world after the UK.