Metro Authority proposes combining phases 1 and 2 of Line 3 construction
CAIRO: The Ministry of Transportation s Metro Authority (MA) has allocated LE 1 billion to modernize Metro Line 1, stretching from Helwan to El Marg, for upgrades scheduled until the end of 2008.
According to a MA statement, most of the funds will go toward the purchase of new trains. Last week, MA signed a LE 210 million deal for three trains and is now negotiating the purchase of eight more valued at LE 560 million.
The upgrades are set to become the first of their kind since Line 1 entered service in 1987. Previous upgrades have focused on stations and maintenance facilities to handle an estimated 2 million daily commuters.
Last week, MA announced it is looking to reduce the time table for construction of phases 1 and 2 of Line 3 from eight to six years by awarding construction rights to the winners of phase 1, but the decision is yet to be formalized.
In September, a consortium made up of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Arab Contractors and a group of French companies lead by Vinci and Bouygues Construction Group (VBCG) won the construction rights to the first phase of Cairo s third metro line with an offer of 400 million euros (LE 2.9 billion).
Construction began in October, 2006 to clear the way for a LE 900 million high-voltage power station to supply the new metro line. The line will eventually reach Cairo International Airport, passing through Nasr City, with a total length of about 30 km.
OCI and VBCG were both involved in the construction of both metro lines 1 and 2. The French company s record includes participation in the construction of metro and railway projects in Athens, Budapest and St. Petersburg.
MA is yet to release a definitive timetable for completing the project. According to Saad Hassan Shehata, National Tunnel Authority Chairman, each phase will require four years of construction, but phases can be worked on simultaneously provided funding is secured.