The initial phase of Egypt’s first electrified light rail system, built and part-financed by Chinese firms, began operating on Saturday after a ceremony attended by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and China’s ambassador to Egypt, Liao Liqiang.
When all three phases are complete, the 10th of Ramadan line will run for 90km and will connect east Cairo with a number of desert towns and the New Administrative Capital.
The first phase has a length of 70km and includes 12 stations. When fully built, the system will have 16 stations and is expected to carry as many as 500,000 passengers a day.
It is being built as a public–private venture by a consortium led by China Railway Group and AVIC International, another state-owned Chinese company. It will be operated by RATP, the French corporation that runs public transport in the greater Paris area and elsewhere.
Kamel el-Wazir, Egypt’s minister for transport, said the first phase of the line would run 22 trains and would have a capacity for 360,000 passengers, Global Times reports.
The opening ceremony was held at the Adly Mansour Station, which is now the largest transfer hub in the North Africa and Middle-East region.
Ambassador Liao commented: “The 10th of Ramadan LRT was a remarkable cooperation programme between China and Egypt under the Belt and Road Initiative, generating important meaning for our bilateral relationship.”