A photo of Minister of Tranport Kamel El-Wazir attending the signing of a cooperation protocol with Spanish high-speed train manufacturer Talgo to establish Talgo Egypt Factory to manufacture railway passenger carriages inside the country. (Photo courtesy: Egyptian Ministry of Transport)
The factory will be established over an area of 20 feddans in the Upper Egypt governorate of Beni Suef, according to a statement by the Ministry of Transport following the event.
It will initially manufacture 50 trains in the first stage and 50 trains in the second stage, and all manufacturing stages will be carried out by Egyptian engineers and technicians, under the supervision of Spanish experts, the ministry asserted.
The factory will also serve as a complex for the maintenance of Talgo trains.
Talgo Egypt will rely on local suppliers for up to 45 percent of local components, which will gradually increase through Egyptian companies.
The agreement with Talgo is part of a broader plan by the Egyptian government to replace all old railcars with either upgraded or new ones.
This is in line with the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to localise heavy industries in Egypt and maximise private sector participation in transportation projects, Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir said during the signing ceremony.
The protocol was signed by Mohamed Amer, Chairman of board of directors of the Egyptian National Railways Authority (ENRA), and Mohamed Khadra, Regional Director of Talgo.
"This makes Egypt the first country to manufacture mobile units in the Middle East and Africa, and represents the first step in realising the dream of turning Egypt into one of the major industrial countries in this field," the statement added.
The ministry stated that taking such steps will assist in fulfilling the needs of the local market, conserve foreign currency, generate job opportunities, and increase the national income through exports, particularly to Africa.
At present, four Talgo passenger trains, which were imported, are in operation on the Cairo-Alexandria and Cairo-Luxor lines.
These trains are part of a 157-million-euro contract signed with the Spanish company in 2019, which included the provision of seven new trains, one of which was a gift.
The Talgo train carriages are air-conditioned and equipped with security surveillance cameras.
Each train is composed of an engine car, a caboose, five first-class railcars, and eight second-class railcars.
In the first-class carriages, there are informational display screens, and for people with special needs, there is a central screen in each second-class carriage.
The Talgo trains procured by Egypt have a commercial speed of 160 km/h and can accommodate 490 passengers.