US Trails Egypt on High Speed Rail Despite 57X Bigger GDP

Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels awarded a $4.5 billion contract for the first phase of a high speed rail project.

Source : Pixabay

October 26, 2021

Author : Alex Bustillos

Phase 1 of the project includes the construction of 660 kilometers, or 410 miles, of high speed rail with “at least 18 stations.” The entire project will include about 1,118 and a half miles of high speed rail.

By comparison, the US currently only has 33.9 miles of passenger rail capable of supporting train speed greater than 150mph.

Even if Amtrak winds up getting billions of dollars from the long-awaited infrastructure package, they aren’t planning on using the money to develop high speed rail, despite Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg having called for more investment in it.

Operations on Phase 1 of the Egyptian project are expected to begin in 2023, connecting sea and dry ports with increased speed and efficiency.

The first phase will include a line designed to carry more than 30 million passengers every year in addition to a freight line, running between the port of Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea and the ports in Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean.

Ain Sokhna is a “major port and industrial complex just south of the Suez Canal,” where the Ever Given ship caused a major blockage earlier this year. The Suez Canal is the fastest sea link between Europe and Asia and also divides Asia and Africa, making it one of the most critical links in the global supply chain.

While it’s understandable that Egypt is investing now in high speed rail to improve its globally important trade routes, it’s also worth noting that the GDP of the United States is 57.6 times greater than that of Egypt. As Secretary Buttigieg put it, “I just don’t know why people in other countries ought to have...more investment in high-speed train service than Americans.”

Category : International Investment in Infrastructure Ports Railroads

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