The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a loan of €145 million to finance reliability and performance upgrades to Egypt’s rail system under the Egypt National Railways Modernization Project (ENRMP).
The facility is intended for improving railway operational safety and to increase network capacity on national rail lines.
Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat remarked that safe, accessible, convenient and green transport systems will be crucial to achieving sustainable development. The improvement and expansion of Egypt’s rail system through the ENRMP allows for active mobility and enables urban and rural development through an inter-modal linked system. He added that technology and innovation, and a robust commitment to public transport will all be vital components of building back better.
Egypt has committed significant investment to upgrade the country’s railway infrastructure through rail renewals, modernisation of signaling and the purchase of new rolling stock. Under the ENRMP a state-of-the-art, cost-effective train protection system will be installed on 950 km of train line along the busy routes connecting Alexandria in the north to Negh Hammadi in the south, and Port Said in the east.
Rail transport is central to Egypt’s economy and as a result of the Bank’s loan and other investments in the project, rail passenger traffic is expected to increase to 15% by 2029. Currently, 8% of passenger traffic and 6% of freight traffic respectively move by rail. The planned upgrades target low-income Egyptians who constitute 40% of the population. They rely on trains as an affordable mode of transport. Increasing train freight is projected to have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Bank’s Deputy Director-General for the North Africa region assured that the newly approved project will enhance the multimodal transportation environment in Egypt, and the seamless movement of people, services, and goods.