Egypt working to revamp neglected railway system: minister

Egypt working to revamp debt-laden, neglected railway system after string of fatal crashes: minister
2 min read
Egypt's transport minister said that more than half of the country's railway engines are currently suspended.
Accidents on Egypt's railway system are often blamed on human error [Getty]

Egypt's transport ministry is working to remedy the country's railway system after years of neglect, the country's Transport Minister Kamel Al-Wazir said on Monday.

Speaking in parliament, Al-Wazir said that more than half of Egypt's railway engines have been suspended, cargo transport has been halted, spare parts are unavailable, according to Egypt Independent.

He added that the railway service is burdened with a debt of around LE 88 billion ($5,601,527,624) to Egypt's National Investment Bank, General Petroleum Corporation and central bank.

Wazir's remarks come amid renewed pressure on Egyptian authorities to improve the country's railway system following a string of accidents. 

Last month, at least 20 people died and nearly 200 were injured in a crash in southern Egypt.

Earlier this month, 15 people were also injured when two train carriages derailed near Minya Al-Qamh, north of Cairo.

The accidents prompted Wazir to reshuffle top posts at Egypt's railway authority, amid calls for his own resignation.

Egypt's railway system has suffered from years of neglect with hundreds of accidents recorded over the last decade.

Accidents in the country are mostly blamed on poor infrastructure and maintenance.

One of the deadliest incidents came in 2002 when a fire ripped through a crowded train south of the capital, killing 373 people.

Wazir, a former general, took office as transport minister in 2019 after a train collision that was blamed on human error.

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