Thales and Orascom Construction announced the signing of a contract with Egyptian National Railways (ENR) to renovate and enhance safety across the Cairo-Beni Suef railway route.

With a contract value of over €300m ($324m) and funding from the World Bank, the project forms part of the Railway Improvement and Safety Project for Egypt (RISE).

The consortium will oversee the modernisation of signalling and communications systems along with renewal across the 125km long track.

The process includes design, supply, construction, testing and commissioning and features maintenance services and civil works.

Thales’ Main Line Signalling Business Line vice-president Dr Yves Joannic highlights how the partnership is set to enhance safety across the railway: “Our collaboration with ENR underscores our commitment to revolutionising rail systems worldwide.

“By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and our extensive expertise, we aim to enhance passenger safety and reliability, while driving the advancement of transportation networks across the globe.”

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By GlobalData

The World Bank approved a $440m loan to support Egypt’s initiatives surrounding the modernisation of its railway tracks in 2021.

This forms part of the $681.1m total project cost, which includes $241.1m in contributions by the ENR.

According to the World Bank, the RISE project aims to improve safety for ENR passengers by upgrading its safety management system and increasing punctuality from 75% to 90% of trains running on time.

Thales Egypt Ground Transportation Systems managing director Alessio Bencivenni emphasised how the signalling systems will improve the overall transport experience: “Our continued partnership with ENR marks a significant milestone in our mission to transform Egypt’s railway sector.

“By introducing state-of-the-art signalling systems, we are dedicated to improving the travel experience for passengers in Egypt. Through innovation and collaboration, we strive to optimise punctuality, increase profitability and elevate the capacity of our railway networks, fostering economic growth and connectivity within the country.”

The centralised traffic control centre and Thales electronic interlockings will be used as the primary traffic control and signalling systems, similar to those recently put in place in Cairo.