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Siemens Mobility signs $8.7 billion high-speed rail deal in Egypt

A train passes through a station in Egypt. The project involving Siemens Mobility will use trains that can reach a maximum speed of 230 kilometers per hour and the line will be fully electrified.

Paulvinten | source | Getty Images

A new high-speed rail line is approaching Egypt, developer Siemens Mobility says it will link 60 cities across the country.

The all-electric lines will run trains at a maximum speed of 230 km/h, running from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, among other destinations.

According to Siemens Mobility, electrifying the grid will cut carbon emissions by 70% compared to traveling by bus or car. He added that the project will result in “the world’s sixth largest high-speed rail system.”

Siemens Mobility, a separately operated company of industrial giant Siemens, has signed a contract to build the railway line with the Egyptian National Tunnel Authority, as well as consortium partners The Arab Contractors and Orascom Construction.

In a statement Saturday, Siemens Mobility said its stake in the combined contract would be €8.1 billion, or about $8.7 billion. This figure includes a €2.7 billion contract signed in September 2021 for the initial line of the project.

The new network in Egypt will consist of three parts: a previously announced 660 km line linking Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea with Alexandria and Marsa Matruh on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast; an approximately 1,100 km line between Cairo and Abu Simbel, close to the border with Sudan; and a 225 km stretch between Luxor and Hurghada on the Red Sea.

“Together with our partners, we will develop from the ground up a complete and modern rail network that will offer the region a blueprint for an integrated, sustainable and modern transportation system,” Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens. Mobility, he says.

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The International Energy Agency has called the railway “one of the most energy efficient modes of transport.” According to the IEA, it accounts for 9% of road passenger traffic and 7% of freight traffic, but only 3% of transport energy consumption.

However, it is heavily dependent on oil, which accounted for 55% of the sector’s total energy consumption in 2020. zero by mid-century, being replaced by electricity—for the vast majority of railroad energy needs—and hydrogen.

As for hydrogen, Siemens Mobility is one of several companies working on hydrogen trains. Others include the East Japan Railways and European railway manufacturer Alstom, which has already transported passengers in Germany and Austria on hydrogen trains.


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