Egypt Independent

Railways authority estimates 2011 losses at LE70 million

The Egyptian Railways Authority has lost about LE70 million from 28 January 2011 to 10 January 2012, according to an official authority report on the impact of railroad strikes and sit-ins since the 25 January revolution began.

The number of trains delayed due to these disruptions reached 1,720 nationwide, said the report, of which Al-Masry Al-Youm obtained a copy Friday.

The report also said that the average train delay was 45 minutes, noting that the losses were estimated in comparison to last year's revenues.

Railways Authority head Hany Hegab told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the strikes forced the authority to lose time and inflicted financial damage.

“The losses for passengers were even more heavy,” said Hegab. “The total time wasted due to the trains being suspended was 2,580 minutes in under 350 days, which is equivalent to 108 days, the highest percentage of wasted time in the history of the railroads.”

According to Hegab, Egypt's railways serve 1.3 million passengers daily and an average of 500 million passengers each year.

Hegab called on security forces to enforce the law and imprison those who suspend train service.

Since the uprising that toppled the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, people have disrupted train service as a way to force authorities to make concessions.

Around 2,000 residents of the village of Ayat in Giza blocked a railroad in June to protest against the installation of a mobile phone tower in their village. The sit-in ended when construction was halted.

An April sit-in in Qena Governorate to protest the appointment of a Coptic former police general as governor cut off train service. The sit-in ended after 10 days, when the governor was removed from his post.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm