The National Authority for Tunnels has signed a USD 4.45 billion deal for a high-speed electric raill linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, in what has been described as a 'Suez Canal on Rails'.
In what is shaping up to be one of Egypt's most ambitious transportation projects yet, Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) has signed a USD 4.45 billion deal with a consortium including Siemens, Mobility, Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors for a high-speed electric rail line linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean coasts.
The rail link will stretch for 660 kilometres and will feature a main line with a capacity of more than 30 million passengers annually as well as a freight line. It will run between Ain el-Sokhna and the ports of Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh.
The signed contractors will be responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the rail over the next 15 years.
According to Siemens CEO Roland Busch - who described the project as “The Suez Canal on rails” - the rail line will cut journey times by as much as half. Siemens has a share of the contract worth around USD 3 billion. By the end of 2023, trains will begin being delivered by the Siemens Mobility unit with the order being completed by 2027.
The NAT and the consortium also discussed the establishment of two other high-speed rail links in Egypt, one linking Cairo to Aswan and another running between Luxor and Hurghada on the red sea. The network will eventually extend to stretch for 1,825 kilometres.