Suez on wheels? $4.5 billion deal signed for Red – Med Sea rail link


Logistics partners have signed a landmark $4.5 billion deal to develop a high-speed rail link between the Red and Mediterranean Sea.

The first ever high-speed and electrified rail line in Egypt, the 1,800km line will connect port cities of Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to the Marsa Matrouh and Alexandria on the Mediterranean, offering a Suez Canal-style of goods flow for cargo-owners.

Together with partners Orascom Construction S.A.E. and The Arab Contractors, Siemens Mobility has signed a deal with the National Authority of Tunnels (NAT) to provide turnkey services to design, install, commission, and maintain the systems for 15 years.

The Egyptian government has an ambitious plan to invest heavily in a reliable and sustainable 1,800km high-speed rail network, that will provide efficient, safe, and affordable transportation for all Egyptians, as well as goods across the country.

Both a passenger and goods network, the line will connect both sea and dry ports which will improve the overall efficiency of moving freight. The total inland freight transported on rails will be increased by 15%.

Two additional lines will connect the Greater Cairo region from 6th October City along the Nile River with Aswan, and Luxor via Hurghada to Safaga.

In theory, the transport route will offer increased logistics options for cargo forwarders through Africa, and could reduce reliance on the Suez Canal, which stalled supply chains in March 2020 following the much-reported grounding of the Ever Given boxship.

The contract signed on 1 September covers the initial 660km out of the 1,800km rail network planned.

Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility, commented, “We are honoured and proud to become Egypt’s partner in constructing a state-of-the art rail system that will transform the everyday travel for millions of Egyptian people.

“Our world class trains will provide an enhanced passenger experience, and combined with our digital leadership in rail infrastructure, we will deliver a safe, reliable and efficient transportation system.

“In addition to benefiting passenger travel, the first fully electric mainline rail network in Egypt will create thousands of local jobs and open up huge possibilities for freight transport.”

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