Egypt's first electrified light rail transit (LRT) system jointly built by Chinese and Egyptian companies started its trial run on Sunday.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi took the first ride on the LRT at its inauguration ceremony, which was also attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang.
The LRT project is the fruit of a 1.24-billion-U.S. dollar contract signed in August 2017 between Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels and the consortium of China Railway Engineering Corporation and AVIC International Holding Corporation.
The rail project connects the New Administrative Capital being constructed east of Cairo with surrounding distant new cities and districts including El-Salam City, 10th of Ramadan City, El-Obour City, Badr City and El-Shorouk City. Egyptian Transport Minister Kamel el-Wazir said the first phase of the LRT contains 22 trains and will serve 360,000 passengers daily.
The 12-station alignment of the LRT starts from the huge Adly Mansour central station, a transportation hub east of Cairo, and ends at the NAC, including seven bridges, three tunnels, two substations and one depot.
The LRT project is divided into several phases, covering a total distance of about 103 kilometers with 19 stations. The current phase covers a distance of about 70 kilometers with 12 stations.
The future phases will include a south extension that covers a distance of around 18.5 kilometers with four stations and a north extension that covers about 16 kilometers with three stations, the transport minister pointed out.
Around 20 Egyptian and 15 Chinese companies took part in the execution of the project, according to the minister.