THE World Bank’s board of executive directors has approved a $US 440m loan to support the Egyptian National Railways’ (ENR) $US 681.1m Railway Improvement and Safety for Egypt (Rise) project, which will focus on upgrading signalling and track on the Cairo - Giza - Beni Suef line.

The newly approved Rise project is a continuation of the ENR Restructuring Project (ENRRP), which was completed in 2020 and focused on upgrading signalling on the Alexandria - Cairo and Beni Suef - Nag Hammadi lines.

As well as upgrades to the Cairo - Beni Suef line, Rise will continue ENRRP’s work on the Alexandria - Cairo and Beni Suef - Nag Hammadi lines, which together cover 763km.

The project also aims to improve safety for ENR passengers and workers by introducing an upgraded Safety Management System. The upgrades are expected to contribute to an improvement in train punctuality on the routes from 75% to 90%.

The project also seeks to advance modernisation efforts promoted by the Ministry of Transport to align ENR with international best practices by introducing performance-based funding.

“Today more than ever, there is a great need to develop sustainable infrastructure,” says Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s minister of international cooperation. “Redefining smarter transport solutions improves safety, enhances mobility, safeguards the environment and strengthens job creation and economic growth. This project supports the momentum for reform and the demand for urban mobility and reliable public transport, integral to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”