Case Studies

Two distinct Rail Markets: Saudi Arabia and Egypt

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Egypt's Rail Market

Egypt has the oldest rail networks in the MENA region and the second-oldest in the world, opening in 1854 between Alexandria and Kafer Eassa. The mainland network of lines runs almost 9,570km and is operated by the state-owned Egyptian National Railways (ENR). Co-Chairman of the ENR Transformation and Restructuring Program – Nino Cingolani will be speaking about railway rehabilitation and opportunities to upgrade obsolete technology at the 10th Annual MENA Rail and Metro Summit this October. The government has prioritised the reconstruction of the networks. It is projected that a quarter of Egypt capital investment is spent on rail projects. The value of rail contracts expected to be awarded in 2014 for 3 projects is $15.8 bn.
The government’s recognition of the rails’ dated construction and upkeep of the system translated in The ENR’s heavy emphasis on. With the passenger traffic in 2011 of over 4,000m passengers per km, the railway investments will bring high returns to investment very soon.

Value of planned and unawarded projects:

  • Alexandria-Cairo-Hurghada-Luxor High Speed Email - $10.2bn
  • Alexandria Metro - $3bn
  • Cairo Metro - $2.6bn

Saudi Arabia's Rail Market

Saudi Arabia in contrast to Egypt’s long standing rail construction history was set up in 1951. The government owned Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) are planning over 1300km of track linking major industrial and urban hubs around the country. This October, the Project Director of the Saudi Railway Company (KSA) - Dr. Bashar Al Malik will be presenting the Saudi project’s civil works, telecoms and maintenance plans at the 10th Annual MENA Rail and Metro Summit. The total estimated expense of the project that will be completed over three phases stands at $97bn. The cumulative value of rail contracts expected to be awarded in 2014 for 8 projects is forecasted to be $47.9bn.

Saudi Arabian residents currently favour the use of private transport like cars over public transport such as trains or buses. Where KSA faces a trial as a new player in the rail industry its risks are mitigated by surplus government funding on superior material quality and system upkeep.

Value of planned and unawarded projects:

  • Jeddah Metro: Orange and Blue Lines - $10.4bn
  • Mecca Metro: phase 3 (Line D) - $4bn
  • Dammam Metro - $7.5bn
  • Mecca Metro: phase 1 (lines B and C) - $8bn 
  • Saudi-Bah rain Railway - $7bn 
  • Mecca Metro: phase 2 (Line A) - $4bn 
  • Saudi La ndbridge: Riyadh-Jeddah railway - $3bn 

The conversation about the US$300bn MENA rail and metro industry will be continued at MEED’s 10th Annual MENA Rail & Metro Summit this October in Dubai.

Download the Agenda to find out who will be speaking and what case studies and topics of discussion will be covered.



  Download the full MENA Rail Markets Article (997.9 KB)

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