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Egypt’s rail authority confirmed that a new batch of Russian railway cars has been shipped as part of a contract with the Russian Transmashholding Company to provide 1,300 carriages.
The batch includes 35 carriages on board two ships that are expected to dock at Alexandria before the end of August.
With the arrival of this batch, the number of Russian railway cars that have reached the Egyptian Railway Authority has increased to 68, including the 33 that arrived in two batches weeks ago and are now operating.
The new batch includes regular, dynamic-ventilated cars that will operate on main railways, named “improved second class.”
According to plans, the batch is expected to enter service immediately after arrival and will form from three to four trains.
Mohamed Kamal, an Egyptian transport expert, said that with the arrival of the new batch of Russian railway cars in Egypt, the number of Russian trains operating on the lower and upper Egypt lines will increase to seven.
He explained that the plan is to receive new batches of 35 Russian cars every month, and to be in possession of over 240 new Russian railway carriages by the end of the year.
Kamal added that the cost of the 1,300 vehicles contracted with Russia is more than €1 billion ($1.2 billion) and is financed in the form of a soft loan in collaboration with the Russian Exim Bank. The Russian cars will operate on main lines only.
The agreement with the Russian-Hungarian alliance led by the Transmashholding Company includes the supply of the 1,300 vehicles.
The contract includes the manufacture and supply of 800 air-conditioned vehicles, including 500 air-conditioned third class carriages, which is a new service that is offered to passengers for the first time in the history of the Egyptian railways. The contract also includes 180 second-class air conditioned cars, 90 first-class air-conditioned cars and 30 air-conditioned buffet trolleys.
The rail authority began operating the first three Russian trains to join the fleet just before Eid Al-Adha, after President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi assigned them to transport passengers during the holidays.
The railway commissioned the trains to work on lines between Cairo to Alexandria as well as from Cairo to Aswan. The Russian train now operates alongside a fleet of Spanish, French, Romanian, German and Egyptian trains.
This article first appeared on www.arabnews.com
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