Egypt Independent

Upper Egypt train movement remains stalled due to protests

Upper Egypt-bound trains are stalled for a second day due to protests blocking railroads in Qena and Sohag governorates, Egyptian National Railways head Hany Hegab said Monday.

The protests are staged by people who are unhappy with elections results and are not related to the railway authority, Hegab told state-run news agency MENA.

Hegab said train movement stopped at 1 p.m. Sunday, after people in Qena's Naga Hammadi village started their protest. Another protest in the Sohag village of Mashta started at 5 p.m.

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 because of protests reached 1,720 nationwide, the report said.

People have blocked train service after last January's uprising to force authorities to listen to their demands.

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

About 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.