THE first Alstom Innovia 300 monorail vehicle for Cairo has been completed at Derby Litchurch Lane in Britain ahead of schedule.

Seventy four-car autonomous trains, the first of their kind to be used in Egypt, were ordered by the National Authority of Tunnels (NTA) in 2019. This is the first time British-built rolling stock has been exported since 2008, when Bombardier built Gautrain electric multiple units for South Africa.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has provided £1.7bn backing for the project, the largest it has ever provided for an overseas infrastructure project. This means UKEF will guarantee 80% of the borrowing, totalling €2.5bn, from J P Morgan.

An Alstom (previously Bombardier)-led consortium that also involved Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors, signed a €2.7bn contract to design, construct, operate and maintain the two monorail lines. One is a 54km link between New Administrative City and East Cairo while the second 42km line will connect the 6th of October City with Giza. Both are expected to open in 2023 and will be able to transport 45,000 passengers per hour in each direction. The trains will run on elevated guideways built off-site to permit fast assembly with minimal disruption.

These are the first mass transit links to connect Greater Cairo with the outlying metropolitan areas. They will have an operating speed of 80km/h and journey times of about 60 minutes.

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