Transport Minister meets with Austrian delegation to boost Egypt’s railway industry

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir welcomed George Bostinger, Austria’s newly appointed Ambassador to Cairo, along with representatives from nine Austrian firms specializing in various railway domains. The meeting, attended by senior officials from the Railway Authority and the Transport Ministry, underscored Egypt’s commitment to enhancing its railway infrastructure.

Minister El-Wazir highlighted the significance of the gathering, which aligns with the ministry’s focus on upgrading the railway system across multiple facets, including infrastructure, rolling stock, and signalling. The collaboration with leading global companies aims to foster development and expresses Egypt’s eagerness to deepen ties with Austrian enterprises in the sector.

The agenda included discussions on ongoing collaborative ventures with Austrian entities, notably the partnership with Plasser Austria for the upkeep and performance improvement of railway engineering machinery. This initiative builds on the longstanding relationship between Egypt’s National Railways Authority and Plasser.

Plasser Egypt, a venture resulting from this collaboration, has been tasked with supplying a diverse array of machinery for railway maintenance and refurbishment. The company’s recent contract win to provide 14 different machine models is part of a comprehensive five-year maintenance and support agreement currently in the finalization phase.

A prior memorandum of understanding between the National Railways Authority and Plasser Austria laid the groundwork for a joint enterprise dedicated to machine maintenance and railway refurbishment within Egypt. The partnership aims to establish a maintenance hub at one of the railway workshops, positioning it as a pivotal facility for servicing Egyptian projects and supporting equipment maintenance across the Middle East and Africa.

The session also explored the partnership with Voestalpine Austria, renowned for its railway turnout production. The collaborative entity, “Voestalpine Egypt for Railway Turnout Technology,” is set to modernize the existing production line with cutting-edge technology, ensuring adherence to international quality standards. This initiative will support the high-speed electric train network and facilitate the transfer of advanced manufacturing techniques and training for Egyptian personnel under Austrian expertise.

Minister El-Wazir reiterated the ministry’s strategy to eliminate the need for importing railway components, including rails, switches, and fastenings. This approach supports local manufacturing for various projects, such as the Fourth Metro Line, Alexandria Metro, and the Sand Tram, in line with the national directive to localize the transport industry. The minister also highlighted the potential for exporting to African and Middle Eastern markets once domestic demands are met.

The Austrian delegation showcased their expertise in different railway sectors, prompting Minister El-Wazir to call for intensified interactions with the Railway Authority to expedite the commencement of essential projects. These efforts aim to bolster the railway infrastructure and electric traction systems, with future collaborations tailored to the Egyptian Railway Authority’s requirements.

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