Thales has secured a three-year contract from Egypt National Railways (ENR) to modernise signalling and telecommunications systems on the Alexandria–Cairo–Aswan rail corridor.

The company is set to carry out all works along a 180km section between the towns of Asyut and Nagh Hammadi within the Upper Egypt portion of the network under the deal.

Thales Main Line Signalling activities head Yves Joannic said: “Egypt National Railways is modernising railway signalling and communication systems to offer more frequent, quicker and safer train travel cyber-secured by Thales technologies.”

"Egypt National Railways is modernising railway signalling and communication systems to offer more frequent, quicker and safer train travel cyber-secured by Thales technologies."

The development will involve the installation of electronic interlocking systems along the rail network and forms part of a wider plan to upgrade railway infrastructure in the country, which is being financed by the World Bank and promoted by Egypt’s Ministry of Transport.

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The project will enable trains to operate at 160 km/h once completed, which represents a significant increase over the current limit of 120 km/h.

It is also expected to improve traffic safety and capacity along the line, facilitating better freight and passenger connectivity between the northern and southern parts of Egypt.

The upgraded signalling and telecommunication solution has been designed to work in conjunction with the existing Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system and a future European Train Control System (ETCS), as well as prevent possible cyber-attacks to ensure smooth operations.

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The new agreement represents Thales’ second contract in Egypt following the company’s first awarded deal in 2013, which involved the modernisation of the Alexandria-Cairo railway line.