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Thales, Orascom Construction upgrade railway line in Egypt

Thales and Orascom Construction sign a new contract in Egypt with the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) for the modernisation of the double-track railway, linking the cities of Cairo, Giza and Beni Suef. The track is located on the east bank of the river Nile, 115 kilometres from the country's capital.

The contract has a budget of more than 300 million euros with a projected execution period of 60 months. Additionally, two years of guarantee and another five years of maintenance services will be provided for the line. The Thales-Orascom Construction consortium will be responsible for modernising the signalling and telecommunications systems, as well as to the renewal of the track within this specific section. The scope of work includes design, supply, construction, testing, and commissioning. Moreover, it includes provisions of spare parts, training, documentation, guarantee with maintenance services, tracks, and civil works.

The state-of-the-art Thales electronic interlockings and the Centralised Traffic Control Centre, will be implemented as the main traffic control and signalling systems, similar to those recently installed in Cairo. It allows ENR to control and supervise the railway line between the capital and Alexandria.

Thales has already a good recognition in Egypt and has been working with the Egyptian railways since 2013. Thales has successfully handed over the Cairo-Alexandria line to ENR, including its extension of Cairo-Benha. Additionally, Thales assumes responsibility for the line connecting Cairo to Benha, as well as the section from Asyut to Nagh Hammadi, in Upper Egypt.

In this project, Thales will also be in charge of the line's cybersecurity, ensuring robust protection against potential cyber threats.

The contract signed by Thales - in collaboration with the local company Orascom Construction - is part of the Railway Improvement and Safety Project for Egypt (RISE). RISE aims to improve the safety of passengers and employees of the Egyptian national railway company by introducing railway safety and traffic control systems.

Inaugurated in 1854 with a section between Alexandria and the governorate of Kafr el Sheikh, the Egyptian railway network is one of the oldest in the world, second only to the British. In the almost 170 years since then, with more than 8, 000 kilometres of track and some 40 million passengers, the railway has become the backbone of the country's citizen transport, carrying almost 314 million passengers a year.

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