The 2,000-kilometre high-speed rail network will connect 60 cities throughout the country, according to the company.

The consortium is expected to directly create up to 40,000 local jobs in Egypt.
The consortium is expected to directly create up to 40,000 local jobs in Egypt. (Siemens)

Egypt has signed a contract with industrial manufacturing company Siemens' rail and traffic unit and its consortium partners to build about 2,000 kilometres of high-speed railways.

The deal between Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) and a consortium of Siemens Mobility, Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors will create the world's sixth largest high-speed rail system, Siemens said on Saturday.

"It is the biggest order in the history of Siemens", Siemens Chief Executive Roland Busch said.

"The new electrified train network comes as a consolidation of the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and Germany in the field of infrastructure and will represent a valuable great addition to Egypt’s transportation system, marking the beginning of a new era for the railways system in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East“, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi said

'Suez Canal on rails'

The project is part of Egypt's extensive transport infrastructure investments over the past few years.

Once completed, Egypt's high-speed network will consist of three rail lines: the one to link its Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts Siemens had dubbed a "Suez Canal on rails" in September, and the two lines announced on Saturday.

Siemens added that its subsidiary's share in the project is worth $8.69 billion and includes the initial contract of $2.9 billion for the first line signed in September.

READ MORE: Can Sisi turn around Egypt's economy with mega projects?

Source: Reuters