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Tuesday, 4 October 2022

World Bank approves USD 400 mn in funding for freight rail network

A more efficient and low-carbon freight railway system is coming: The World Bank has approved a USD 400 mn financing agreement to boost the performance of the country’s transport and logistics sectors and support a shift towards low-carbon rail systems, the World Bank (pdf) and the International Cooperation Ministry said yesterday.

Making rail freight faster and more efficient: The money will help finance the construction of a railway bypass that avoids the congested Greater Cairo-Sixth of October rail corridor. The bypass will allow freight trains to travel between the Port of Alexandria and the newly-constructed Sixth of October dry port via an alternative route to the west of Greater Cairo. The bypass will be able to handle 15 container trains per day by 2030 and up to 50 trains by 2060.

Reducing transport emissions: Reliance on road freight means that the country’s transport sector currently accounts for 19% of our total greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank says. Increasing the use of rail to transport goods will lower Egypt’s carbon output by around 965k tons over 30 years, the bank estimates. This falls in line with the government’s mission to reduce emissions in three sectors — energy, oil and gas, and transport — that represent around 45% of Egypt's total emissions.

The private sector will be able to operate their trains on national rail lines for a fee through a new infrastructure access charging scheme. The project will support a fee scheme similar to road tolls or airport landing fees, boosting the National Railways Authority’s finances.

What they said: “Increasing the number of containers moved by rail from zero to 184k per year is one of the project’s key objectives,” Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said.

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