Egypt: Line 3 of Cairo city metro

Egis deploys its heavy urban metro system engineering capabilities for phase 3 of Cairo metro line 3, within a Franco-Egyptian consortium.

The consortium, made up of the French engineering firms Systra (lead contractor) and Egis, together with the Egyptian design consultancies ACE and EHAF, has been awarded an assignment as General Consultant for phase 3 of the third line of the Cairo metro system, comprising final design review and construction supervision up to handover.

With a population likely to grow to 20 million inhabitants between now and 2022, Cairo is one of the largest cities in the world. The Egyptian government was prompt to recognise the strategic importance of developing an efficient transport networks covering the metropolitan region.

Line 3 was commenced in 2007, adding to Cairo’s transport service offer (previously with two metro lines in operation), and giving fresh impetus to the metro network. The new line will connect the two banks of the Nile and will provide relief to one of the most congested thoroughfares of the city.

Featuring two branches (splitting apart on the west bank side of the city), the completed line will run a total of 43.5 km from Cairo Airport in the north east to Rod El-Faraq in the north and the University in the south. It will travel through the city centre and beneath the Nile, and 23 of its 33 stations will be built underground.

A metro line built in 4 phases

The construction of line 3 of the metro has been scheduled in 4 phases.

  • Phase 1, on which service commenced in 2012, is the central stretch, running underground and calling at 5 stations between Attaba and Abbasia.

  • Phase 2 runs 7.8 km between Abbasia station and Haround El Rashied, including 4 km underground. Between Abassia and the Cairo Fair, contractors use tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to excavate tunnels of an outer diameter of 9.15 m and an inner diameter of 8.35, enabling trains to pass each other. From the Cairo Fair to El Ahram, earth pressure boring machines (EPBM) are used.

  • Phase 3 (to which the contract relates) extends line 3 westwards from Abbassa. After crossing under the Nile, the line will split into two branches to serve both north and south districts of the west bank. This phase comprises 15 stations and is a total of 18 km long. Most of it will run underground (10 km) with some elevated sections (6 km). The majority of phase 3 will use TBMs (in particular underneath the Nile) but its westernmost parts will include a cut-and-cover section and also an elevated section.

  • Phase 4 will extend the line from Haround El Rashied to Cairo Airport.

Acknowledgement of metro expertise

Worth approximately €60 million, the contract entails firstly the review of shop drawings and secondly the supervision of construction work including scheduling, planning and supervision, the coordination of various contributors, works monitoring and commissioning.
This General Consultant assignment will be carried out by a multi-disciplinary team proficient in Civil Engineering and Plant and Equipment issues, including in the procurement of new trains.

Scheduled to last 8 years, this phase 3 will draw on the work of Egis teams specialising in metro Systems. With this new contract, Egis has once again demonstrated its extensive involvement in major transport projects all over the world, most notably in large metropolitan areas with particularly intensive ridership.

Key figures

Line 3: Cairo Airport to Rod El Faraq /Cairo University

  • Length: 43.3 km
  • Underground: 30.2 km
  • Number of stations: 33 (including 23 underground)
  • Passengers/day (2022): 2.7 M