Engineer Kamel Al-Wazir, the Egypt Minister of Transport, announced today, during a press conference after the cabinet meeting, that 38 new trains will enter service on a number of railways, starting from tomorrow, Thursday, July 30.
Engineer Kamel Al-Wazir said: We have supplied 38 new trains that vary between air-conditioned, luxury, and third-class trains, which are entirely new trains, their vehicles have been imported from Russia, while tractors have been imported from the United States of America, and these new trains will work in conjunction with trains Currently available in various degrees.
The Minister of Transport said that the plan to run the new trains includes moving six of the new trains, which were supplied from the Russian company “Transmash”, on the lines: Cairo – Assiut, and Cairo – Sohag, while 8 trains of the Spanish air-conditioned vehicles that were developed in Railroad workshops, and they will be run on the lines: Cairo – Aswan, Cairo – Mansoura, Cairo – Ismailia – Port Said, while tourist trains will be run, the second and air-conditioned third class, by 10 trains on the lines: Cairo – Menouf – Tanta – Alexandria, and Cairo – Belbeis – Zagazig – Mansoura, Cairo – Manashi – Itay El-Baroud, Cairo – Kafr El-Sheikh, Cairo – Ismailia – Suez, as well as 14 other trains that were developed in the workshops of Kom Abu Radi and Abu Zaabal of the third class vehicles.
The Minister considered that the entry of 38 new trains into service is the beginning of a series of new additions to the planned railway fleet, as 33 vehicles will be supplied per month, which constitutes 3-4 new trains per month in addition to what will be formed and developed by the company “SEMAF” which adopts The state plans to develop it.
In a related context, Eng. Kamel Al-Wazir indicated that with the start of the operation of new trains, prices will be moved in these trains in proportion to the quality of the service provided in them, provided that the price increase application starts from Thursday.
The Minister of Transport stated that the expected increase in the tariff for riding new trains is not significant, and this increase includes raising the tariff for trains running on the Cairo-Alexandria line, the first luxury air-conditioned to become 125 pounds instead of 100 pounds, and second-rate air-conditioned trains to be 100 pounds instead of 70 pounds, and reiterated that the increase will be on new trains only, and that there will be no prices for trains currently operating on various railways at the level of the Republic.
The Minister pointed out that when starting the pricing process, we took into consideration the prices of alternative means of transportation such as “microbus” and “bus”, with a competitive advantage in this regard in favor of new trains, for example the presence of air-conditioned trains, and the availability of a disciplined timetable element in trains In addition to the high safety factor in the railway trains, we also took into consideration the price of the ticket if some people sold it in the parallel market, as these practices still occur and we work to resist them and hold those responsible accountable, and the tickets prices will be lower than their price if they are traded on the black market. He said
During the press conference, Eng. Kamel al-Minister attributed this increase to the desire of the Railways Authority to cover part of the operating expenses, salaries, the value of fuel and some of the lifetime that takes place on the trains, explaining that even if all the trains operating on the 900 railways were developed, We will only cover 70% of the cost of operation and maintenance.
He pointed out that the volume of annual railway spending until last year amounts to 7.5 billion pounds in operating expenses, while our revenues hardly reach about 3 billion pounds, that is, we do not reach even 50 percent of our operating expenses.
Eng. Kamel al-Minister mentioned that the state has a plan to invest 142 billion pounds in the field of railways, whether on projects that have been completed, or ongoing projects or projects planned to be completed before 2024, and among these projects the supply of new trains or railway cars.
He added: The railway was established in 1851, at that time the number of Egyptians was 4 million citizens, and today there are 900 train tracks on the railways, while the population exceeded 100 million, and these trains suffered from weak spending on them for long periods, not renewing them, and not carrying out massive overhauls This affected the quality of service provided by these trains, which was evident before June 30, 2014, as the capacity to carry passengers reached from one million passengers per day to 700 thousand passengers before June 2014.
The minister continued: Since June 30, 2014 we started expanding the process of spending again on maintenance until we reached 900 thousand passengers now, and we started to supply new railway vehicles and new trains.
He explained that the ministry has a plan to supply train cars from Russia, and develop other vehicles, either a third degree in the company “Semaf” which the state adopts a plan to develop, or in the Abu Radhi railway workshops where the first-class and air-conditioned cars are developed and renewed, and a new train will be assembled .
He said that during the past fiscal year, lighting fixtures were installed in regular trains, as well as doors and windows, and toilets, and their seats were developed in an acceptable manner, with the assurance that these trains will not be affected by the current tariff, and will continue with the current price.
He pointed out that despite the new increase, the entire expenses of operation and maintenance will not be covered, as well as the large investments that the state has made in building the railway facility, and above all the railway will remain in debt of 111 billion pounds, including 35 billion pounds for the central bank; As a result of overdraft for the payment of salaries, as railway salaries are paid from the central bank, they are unable to pay the salaries of employees, and the Railways Authority owes 35 billion pounds to the National Investment Bank, and the authority was indebted to the Ministry of Finance with 35 billion pounds Other.
He added: We now have 76 billion pounds, the authority is working to pay it, as it is working to develop the railway and introduce new trains until we reach 900 trains in 2024 so that we can return to the railway to be able to transport a million and a half million passengers per day, increase to 2 million passengers in 2030, along with a plan to take care of transporting goods across railways instead of roads to maintain durability and road safety, as well as obtain more revenue to offset part of the operating and maintenance expenses.