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Cairo Metrorail Project, Egypt [free access]

July 1, 2020

Key players: The National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) is the developer. The state-owned Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation (ECM) is the operator.


Project description: Expansion and rehabilitation of the metro system in Cairo.


Background: The system comprises three lines, which together span over 83.05 km and cover 79 stations. It is the only underground metro network in Africa.


Line 1 (Blue Line) – It spans 44.3 km (4.7 km underground) from Ramses/Helwan to New El-Marg, covering 35 stations (five underground). It is being built in three phases, of which two are operational and have been built at an investment of EUR256.40 million. Passenger services commenced with the opening of the Helwan–Ramses section in 1987. 


Line 2 (Red Line) – It spans 21.6 km from Shobra-El to Monib, covering 20 stations (12 underground, two elevated,and six at-grade). It was developed in four phases at an investment of EUR1,153.80 million. Passenger services commenced with the opening of the Shobra-El Khima–Ramses section in 1996.


Line 3 (Revolution Line) – It currently spans 12 km from Attaba station to Haroun station, covering nine stations.


Phase I spans 4.30 km from the city centre to east Cairo, covering five underground stations (Attaba, Bab El-Sharia, El-Geish, Abdou Pasha, and Abbassia). It opened in 2012. It required an investment of EUR529.60 million.


Phase II spans 7.7 km from Abbasiya to Heliopolis (Haroun station), covering four underground stations (Cairo Fair, Stadium, Kolyet El-Banat, and Al-Ahram). It required an investment of EUR442.61 million and was funded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French Fund for Global Environment (FFEM), and the governments of Egypt and France. Passenger services commenced in May 2014.


Phase IV-A commenced operations in June 2019. It spans 5.15 km (underground) from El Nozha to Haroun, covering five stations. Passenger services are expected to commence in December 2018. Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bouygues Travaux Publics and their Egypt-based joint partners, Orascom Construction Industries and Arab Contractors, will construct Phase IV-A under a EUR264million contract secured in April 2015.


Ridership: By the end of 2019, the daily ridership was 3.5 million passengers per day.


Rolling stock: The current fleet comprises railcars from Alstom; South Korea-based Hyundai Rotem; Japan-based Kinki Sharyo, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Toshiba Corporation; and local company SEMAF.


Tracks are standard gauge (1,435 mm). Line 1 sources power from overhead catenary. Lines 2 and 3 source power from the third rail (750 V DC).


Hyundai Rotem has supplied 20 nine-car air-conditioned trains for Lines 1 and 2 in 2015 and 2016 under an EGP2.16billion contract secured in 2012. The contract includes a two-year warranty and a provides for maintenance for a further eight years.


Fare system: Spain-based IDOM has provided technical assistance for implementing an automated fare collection (AFC) system based on contactless smartcards for Lines 1, 2,and 3.


Thales has provided the TransCity ticketing and supervision system on Lines 1 and 2 under a contract secured in December 2015. The fare media comprises magnetic-stripe tickets and contactless smart cards using Web 2.0 technologies. The company supplied 850 access gates, 100 ticket vending terminals, and 75 portable ticket control terminals. It has implemented a new system to allow supervision of all data generated across the existing network.


Capital plans The existing lines are being extended and new lines are being built. Line 1 is also undergoing rehabilitation.


Line 1 extension: It will span 1.2 km (double-track) from El-Marg to New El-Marg station, covering one station. In March 2016, a consortium of Colas Rail, Alstom, and Alstom Egypte secured a EUR24.7million contract to renovate and upgrade the existing infrastructure, construct new tracks, replace overhead lines, widen the platforms at the New El-Marg station, and construct associated facilities. Construction was expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018. No further updates have been announced.


Rehabilitation of Line 1: The project includes renewal of the signalling system, telecommunication equipment, centralised train control system, power supply system, and tracks. It has received funds from agencies such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), AFD, and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Contracts are yet to be awarded.


In October 2017, the EIB approved a loan of EUR180 million. In August 2018, the EBRD announced plans to provide EUR105 million. In February 2018, the AFD, EIB, and EBRD announced plans to provide total financing of EUR600 million.


Line 2 extension: Line 2 is planned to be extended to Qalyoub city. Systra is the detailed design and feasibility studies consultant for the project. It will advise on the best route for the proposed extension, the number of stations, and the potential interchange points with other transport modes.


Line 3: Line 3 will span 43.3 km (30.2 km underground) from Cairo Airport to Rod El Faraq / Cairo University, covering 33 stations (23 underground). It is being developed in four phases of which two phases are operational and two phases (around 24.45 km) are under construction.


South Korea-based Hyundai Rotem will supply 288 metro cars under contracts secured in February 2017 and August 2018. The company will supply 256 metro cars for the Line 3 Phase III extension at acost of USD377.5 million and maintain them for a period of eight years. Delivery is expected to commence in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by 2020.


The remaining 32 cars will be deployed on Phases III and IV. The procurement of these 32 metro cars will be funded by a EUR243million loan provided by the Economic Development Co-operation Fundof South Korea. The loan will carry an annual interest rate of 0.1 per cent and a term of 33 years with a grace period of 20 years. As per the agreement, a total of 30 per cent of the train components will be manufactured locally in Egypt. The first four trains will be delivered in 2019 and one train will be delivered every month thereafter.


Phase III will span 17.7 km from Attaba to Cairo University, covering 15 stations (eight underground,two at-grade). The Government of Egypt is funding the project cost of EUR344 million. The daily ridership is expected to be five million passengers.


A consortium led by France-based Vinci Construction Grands Projets has secured a USD1.2billion contract for construction. Tunnelling commenced in May 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by 2022. US-based Hill International is managing the construction and providing technical assistance under a USD4.4million contract.


France-based Thales will supply the fare collection system. France-based Alstom will supply the signalling and power supply systems as well as the track infrastructure under a EUR190million contract secured in November 2015.


Phase IV-B will span 6.37 km from Adly Mansour to Hisham Barakat, covering five stations.


Phase IV-C will span 6.65 km (underground) from Al Hegaz to Cairo Airport. 


Line 4: It will span at least 55 km from the outskirts of the suburb of 6th of October City to El-Malek El-Saleh district. It will be developed in four phases. It is scheduled to be fully operational by 2023.


Phase I will span 18.8 km from the multimodal station west of the Ring Road to El-Remayah Square, covering 17 stations. It will intersect with Line 1 at the El-Malek El-Saleh station and with Line 2 in Giza.


Construction began in January 2016. In March 2012, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) granted a 30-year loan of EUR392 million (with a grace period of 10 years). In September 2016, NAT awarded the USD10million consultancy contract for Phase I to a consortium of three Japanese companies (Nippon Koei, Nippon Civic, and Oriental Consultancy) and two local companies (Ace Consulting Engineers and Ehaf Consulting Engineers).


Line 5: It will span 24 km (17 km underground) from Nasr City to Sawah and Al Sahil, covering 17 underground stations. It is currently under planning. It is estimated to cost USD4 billion.


Line 6: It will span 20 km from Shubra Al Kheimah to the Maadi and Helwan districts, covering 24 stations (12 underground). The line will have interchange facilities at Ghamra station (Line 1) and at Fustat station (Line 4). Canada-based Bombardier will finance and construct the line under a USD4billion contract secured in July 2017. Daily ridership is estimated to be 500,000 passengers.


Fare system: In June 2017, Thales secured fare collection contracts for Line 3 Phase III and Phase IV-B. The scope of work includes the supply of 70 automatic vending machines, 177 ticket office machines, 50 portable ticket control terminals, and 460 new-generation automated access gates.


Rolling stock: In August 2019, South Korea-based Hyundai Rotem secured a USD131 million contract to supply six trains and related spare parts as well as provide maintenance services for eight years for Cairo Metro Line 2. The contract is a part of the country’s USD1.8 billion integrated plan to renovate Metro Lines 1 and 2, and is being funded by a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Earlier, in January 2019, NAT awarded a USD134.5 million contract to South Korea-based Hyundai Rotem to supply and maintain 48 railcars for the system. The delivery is expected to be completed by 2023 and maintenance services will be provided until 2031. The railcars will be deployed on Line 2.


Recent development:


(1 EUR [Euro] = 1.12 USD)