FIIAPP is managing a project funded by the European Union on railway safety in Egypt. Experts from ADIF and RENFE will be working with their Egyptian counterparts to improve safety in the country with the main goal of reducing railway accidents.
The kick-off of the Twinning project ‘Supporting the Egyptian Ministry of Transport in the Implementation of the Railway Safety Management System’ was held in Cairo, Egypt on 15th February. The project, managed by FIIAPP with a grant of €1,300,000 from the European Commission, will include the participation of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Transport and experts from the State Agency for Railway Safety (ADIF) and RENFE. Over the next 24 months, they will be working with their Egyptian counterparts on railway safety in the country.
The project objective is to contribute to strengthening the Egyptian administration in the field of railway safety in line with European standards. The project seeks to develop and improve accreditation methodologies for drivers working in the Egyptian Railway Network (ENR). This would be accomplished through the drafting of new regulations, implementation of new safety management systems, and, particularly, training of ENR staff to enhance their performance and skills, stressing the selection criteria used in the hiring of personnel.
Project manager Gerardo Gavilanes of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport said during the presentation that the Spanish administration is carrying out actions to transmit ‘good practices, proposals, regulatory changes, driver training, improvements in signalling and technology, all to reduce the country’s very high accident rate’, adding that ‘we shouldn’t expect miracles’ however. ‘Without improvements to infrastructure, upgrading of rolling stock and signalling, the project results will not be as good’, he stated.
For his part, Egyptian Transport Minister Saad Mohamed al Gueiushy promised to ‘establish a safety system’ in the entire Egyptian railway system to reduce rail accidents. He also indicated that with this project, the Egyptian administration aims to ‘receive Spanish experience‘ and ‘enhance its capacities and review its processes‘ in the area of railway safety, but that all of this will ‘take time’.