Dubbed the “Suez Canal on rails” the new network will link the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, heralding a new era in passenger and freight rail transport in Egypt. It will cover 2,000 km with three lines and roughly 60 stations, transporting passengers and freight at speeds of up to 230 km/h and 120 km/h respectively. In total, the Egyptian state is investing over €12bn in the project.
Concluded for an initial period of 15 years, the operating contract awarded to DB IO concerns line 1: the 660-km-long line, otherwise known as the “Green Line”, running from Mersa Matruh on the Mediterranean Sea to Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea via Cairo and Egypt’s new administrative and government headquarters in the “New Administrative Capital”, which is currently under construction.
Following on from major contracts in Canada and India, the project in Egypt, valued in the single-digit billion range, is the third major international operator project for DB IO in 2022.
Together with project partner Elsewedy Electric, DB IO will be responsible for operating infrastructure and rolling stock for high-speed, regional, and freight services along with maintaining the stations and workshops on the “Green Line”.
In mid-2022, Siemens was awarded a contract in a consortium to build the rail infrastructure and supply trains, offering a wide range of opportunities for technological cooperation to develop new design and operational approaches.
Egypt is a rapidly growing country. By 2050, its population is expected to increase from approximately 105 million to 160 million inhabitants. The new, high-capacity rail system, scheduled to begin operations in 2025, will be the central pillar in the sustainable expansion of Egypt’s public transportation infrastructure, serving as a regional flagship project for a modal shift in passenger and freight traffic.
In addition to saving at least 50% travel time for around 30 million inhabitants with the “Green Line” alone, the project will simultaneously make an important contribution to traffic safety and climate protection. The use of renewable energy compared to bus, car and non-electrified rail transport aims to reduce carbon emissions by 70%.