Cairo Metro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cairo Metro
Cairo metro logo2012.svg
Native nameمترو أنفاق القاهرة
OwnerNational Authority for Tunnels (Egyptian state)[1]
LocaleGreater Cairo, Egypt
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines3
Number of stations74[2]
Daily ridership3.6 million[3]
Annual ridership1.314 billion (FY2015)[4]
WebsiteCairo Metro (in English)
Began operation27 September 1987; 35 years ago (1987-09-27) [2]
Operator(s)Cairo Metro - The Egyptian Co. for Metro Management & Operation[5]
Underground, At-grade and Elevated
System length93.1 km (57.8 mi)[2]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationLine 1: Overhead line,1.5 kV DC[6]
Line 2: Third rail, 750 V DC[7]
Line 3: Third rail
Cairo Metro
Adly Mansour  3 
 1  New El-Marg
Omar ibn Al-khattab
Ezbet El-Nakhl
Hisham Barakat
Ain Shams
El-Shams Club
Helmeyet El-Zaitoun
Alf Masken
Hadayeq El-Zaitoun
Heliopolis Square
Saray El-Qobba
Airport  3 
Hammamat El-Qobba
Kobri El-Qobba
Military Academy
Manshiet El-Sadr
Al-Hegaz 2
Al-Hegaz Square
 2  Shobra El Kheima
Al Ahram
Koliet El-Zeraa
Koleyet El Banat
Cairo Stadium
Fair Zone
Sainte Teresa
Road El-Farag
Abdou Pasha
El Geish
Al Shohadaa
Bab El Shaaria
Saad Zaghloul
Kit Kat
AlSayyeda Zeinab
El-Malek El-Saleh
Mar Girgis
Dar El-Salam
Hadayeq El-Maadi
Ring Road
 3  Rod Al-Farag Corridor
Thakanat El-Maadi
Tora El-Balad
Wadi Al-Nile
Gamaet Al-Dowal
Bolak Al-Dakror
El Behoos
 3  Cairo University
Tora El-Asmant
Omm el Misryeen
Hadayeq Helwan
Sakiat Mekki
Wadi Hof
 2  El Mounib
Helwan University
Ain Helwan
Helwan  1 

The Cairo Metro (Arabic: مترو أنفاق القاهرة, romanizedMetro Anfāq al-Qāhirah, lit. "Cairo Tunnel Metro" or مترو الأنفاق  pronounced [ˈmetɾo lʔænˈfæːʔ]) is the rapid transit system in Greater Cairo, Egypt. It was the first of the three full-fledged metro systems in Africa and the first in the Middle East to be constructed.[8][9] It was opened in 1987 as Line 1 from Helwan to Ramsis square with a length of 29 kilometres (18.0 mi).[10] As of 2013, the metro carried nearly 4 million passengers per day.[3] As of October 2022, the Cairo Metro has 74 stations[2] (mostly at-grade),[citation needed] of which 4 are transfer stations, with a total length of 93.1 kilometres (57.8 mi). The system consists of three operational lines[2] numbered from 1 to 3.[10]

The Cairo Metro is run by the National Authority for Tunnels.[10] The lines use standard gauge (1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)).[2]


Cairo Metro turnstile gates (standard ticket)
Old Cairo Metro ticket (front side)
Old Cairo Metro ticket (back side)

The middle two cars (4th and 5th) of each train have been reserved for women since 1989[11] (the 5th car becomes mixed-use after 21:00). There are blue signs at every station that signify the position of these cars. These cars are used as an option for women who do not wish to ride with men in the same car; however, women can still ride other cars freely. This policy was introduced for protection of women from sexual harassment by men.[12]

Cairo Metro operates from 05:00 till 01:00 (except during Ramadan, when it operates from 05:00 till 02:00), with the remaining hours reserved for maintenance work.[13]

The ticket price was £E1 for each journey, regardless of distance.[14] The Ministry of Transportation agreed to double the ticket prices, starting from Friday 24 March 2017, costing £E2 for the normal ticket, £E1.5 for the minors ticket, £E1 for the special needs ticket[15][16] after formerly costing £E1, £E0.75 and £E0.5, respectively. Again on 10 May 2018, the ministry of transportation agreed to raise the ticket prices to be £E3 for 9 stops, £E5 for 16 stops and £E7 for more than 16 stops.[17] As of July 2020, 9 stops cost £E5, 16 stops cost £E7, and rides exceeding 16 stops cost £E10.[18]


Line Termini Opened Latest
Length Stations
 1  Helwan – El Marg[19] 1987 1999 44.3 km[10] 35[19][20]
 2  Shobra El Kheima – El Mounib[19] 1996 2005 21.6 km[21][22] 20[19][20]
 3  Kit Kat – Adly Mansour[23] 2012 2022 19.5 km[24][failed verification] 23[24][failed verification]
Total: 85.4 km[24][failed verification] 74[19][Note 1][failed verification]

Line 1[edit]

Line 1 (blue) is the oldest line of the Cairo Metro, with its first 29-kilometre (18 mi) segment having opened in 1987.[10] The line is 44.4-kilometre (27.6 mi) long,[10] and serves 35 stations. This line carries trains with 3 units (9 train cars),[10] which have a headway of 3:30 to 4 minutes, and a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph).[10] The line can carry 60,000 passengers per hour in each direction.[25]: 32 

Line 1 has a train driving simulator supplied by Transurb Technirail that won the international tender issued by Cairo Metro in 2011.[26]

Line 2[edit]

Line 2 (red) is the second line of the Cairo Metro. The line is 21.6-kilometre (13.4 mi) long,[21] of which 13 kilometres (8 mi) is in tunnels. It serves 20 stations, of which 12 are underground.[21] It is mostly in bored tunnel, with two exceptions: a short section at the northern end approaching Shubra El Kheima which is elevated, and a section just south of this by cut-and-cover. Line 2 uses the third rail electrification system instead of the overhead line used in the first line.[27] The communication extension for line 2 was provided by Alcatel in 2005.[28]

The minimum headway for the line is 2 minutes 40 seconds to 3 minutes.

Line 2 has a simulator installed in Shubra since 2002[citation needed] which was delivered by French company CORYS.[29]

The first tunnel to be built under the Nile River carries line 2 across the river.[30]

Line 3[edit]

Line 3 (green) presently operates from El Kit Kat to Adly Mansour, with construction under way for the remaining line to the northwest of Greater Cairo. Eventually it will link Cairo International Airport all the way to Cairo University and Imbaba. The line will cross under the two branches of the River Nile, as does Line 2. The total length of the line will be approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi), most of which in bored tunnel, and will be implemented in four phases.[31]

Phase 1 from Attaba station to Abbassia station opened on 21 February 2012,[32] with five stations and a total length of 4.3 kilometres (2.7 mi).[9][24] Phase 2 to Al Ahram Station was opened on May 7, 2014 by Adly Mansour,[33][34] with four additional stations and an added length of 7.7 kilometres (4.8 mi),[24] for a total length of 12.0 kilometres (7.5 mi). Phase 4-1 from Al Ahram to El Shams Club opened on June 15, 2019 (with the exception of Heliopolis Square station).[35]



The Cairo Metro (line 2)

As the biggest and most densely populated city in Africa, and the Arab World, the case for a metro in Greater Cairo was strong. In 1987 that population stood at 10 million residents, not counting the two million or so commuters who came into Cairo every day to work.[25]: 11  The capacity of Cairo's public transport infrastructure was around 20,000 passengers/hour, which increased to 60,000 after the construction of the metro.[25]: 14 

Proposed plans[edit]

The idea of a metro was first proposed in the 1930s by engineer Saiyed Abdel Wahed of the Egyptian Railway Authority,[25]: 15  however, the idea did not progress. Following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, there was renewed interest in the idea. In 1954 French experts made a report about the future of the transportation in Egypt. They proposed a metro encompassing two lines, one 12 km long line connecting Bab al-Louq and Ismailia and a second 5 km line connecting Boulaq and Abou al-Ela Castle. They also proposed that there should be one company in charge of all transportation systems.[25]: 15 

Later on multiple experts came to Egypt regarding that project: Soviet experts in 1956, Japanese experts in 1960 and French experts in 1962, which concluded the following: The creation of a metro system with multiple lines. The first is a 5 km line connecting Helwan with El-Marg going under the Kasr el Eini street and Ramses Street.[25]: 15  The second line would be from Sayeda Zainab to Shobra going under Downtown Cairo and would be 9.5 km long.[25]: 15  The third would be from Giza to Abbaseya and would be 11.5 km long. The fourth would be from Al Awqaf to the Castle and would be 6.7 km long.[25]: 15 

In 1964 British experts advised the creation of a metro line from Bab El Louk to Shubra.[25]: 16  In 1966 Japanese experts advised the creation of a lane between Helwan and El Marg and another one going through Mohandessin, Heliopolis and 26 of July street, for a total of 26 km.[25]: 16  Lastly, in 1969, the government approved the need for a study showing the needed capacity for Cairo's transportation system.[25]: 16  The Egyptian Ministry of Transport issued an international tender for the creation of the study. Eight companies applied and the French company SOFRETU won the tender on 20 September 1970.[25]: 17  The study was finished in 1973 and included mainly the study of the population development in Cairo and its needs for transportation capacity in 1980, 1985 and 1990. It concluded the necessity for three lines in greater Cairo to solve the transportation problem.[25]: 18  The first line would use the already available railways (Helwan-Bab El luk and Al Laymoun Bridge-El Marg) and connect them through a metro. It would be in total 43 km long. The second line would be 13.5 km and connect Shubra El-Kheima and Bulaq going through Ramses Street and Tahrir Square. The third line would go from El Darasa to Imbaba and would be in total 10 km long.[25]: 19 

The priority for the project was the first line which would reduce 30% of the daily transport to and from Cairo and would incorporate pre-existing rail infrastructure.[25]: 19  The detailed study of the construction took 6 years from 1975 to 1981.[25]: 19  A tender was made for the construction of the metro and the Egyptian-French company Entra Nevra Arabco won it and had the task of constructing the metro system.[25]: 20 

Construction works[edit]

The construction of Line 1 started in 1982 after the French government agreed on giving Egypt the necessary loan. The first section was opened on 27 September 1987[2] and the line was completed in 1989 connecting Helwan with El Marg and consisting of 33 stations with a total length of 43 km of which 4.7 km underground.[36] In 1999, New El Marg station was added to the northern end of the line, bringing its total length to 44.3 km. Helwan University station was built between Wadi Houf and Ain Helwan stations.[27]

Cairo's metro network was greatly expanded in the mid-1990s with the building of Line 2, from Shoubra El Kheima to Cairo University, with an extension to Giza. The line includes the first tunnel under the Nile.[37][38] The construction of the line was finished in October 2000, and it was later extended to El Mounib.[37]

Proposed lines[edit]

Cairo Metro, LRT, and monorail expansion plans

Line 4 (October-Oasis Highway - the Police Academy)[edit]

Line 4 is planned to run from Haram District to the New Cairo district, connecting Greater Cairo from West to East. It will cross the two branches of the Nile river, and have a total length of 24 kilometres (14.9 mi).[8][9] As of early 2019, construction was scheduled to begin in Q3 2019, with an estimated completion date of 2024.[39]

Phase 1 (west) of the project will run from El-Malek El-Saleh Station (Interchange with Line 1) to the October-Oasis Highway Station with a total length of 18 km, passing through Giza Railway Station (Interchange with Line 2);[40][41] the original plan for phase 1 was for it to start from El-Malek El-Saleh Station and end at the Grand Egyptian Museum Station with a total length of 10 km, but the Ministry of Roads & Transportation decided to extend the Line in their efforts to further connect the Governorate of 6 October to the Greater Cairo Area; phase 1 also includes the plan to connect the end of Line 4 to the suburbs of 6 October mainly through executing The October 6th Tram system (The O6T) which will be by using a tram-train system supplied with the Alstom Regio-Citadis trams.[42] This phase will have 15 stations to be constructed with a duration of 6.5 years.[27] Phase 1 stations will be equipped with an automatic fare collection system and platform screen doors, and will include elevators for the use of disabled passengers.[27] Phase 1 bidding was postponed until May 2015 to enable Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to complete the feasibility study and to resolve other problems with the construction starts by 2015 or 2016 according to Ismail El-Nagdy, Chairman of National Authority for Tunnels with Japan International Cooperation Agency financing $1.2 billion loan while Egyptian government covering the rest of $2.4 billion.[40][41][43][44]

Phase 2 will begin from El-Malek El-Saleh Station, passing east through Magra El-Oyoun street and Salah El-Din Citadel in Salah Salem street and ending at the 6th District Station (beginning of Nasr City district) with a completion date set at October 2018.[8]

Phase 3 will begin from 6th District Station and ending at Makram Ebeid Station, following Mustafa El-Nahas street in bored tunnels under the existing old tram system, and ultimately deconstructing the old railway and paving its right-of-way (increasing the street by two lanes in each direction, which is critically needed to lighten the traffic congestion in the area). This phase has a completion date set at October 2019.[citation needed] Mitsubishi was the only company to submit an offer on a tender for 64 trains in the third and fourth phases of the project. The offer was accepted in October 2018.[45]

Phase 4, the final phase, will begin from Makram Ebeid Station with bored tunnels following Doctor Hassan El-Sherif street and Ahmed El-Zomor street, ending at Police Academy Station near the Ring Road.[8]

The New Cairo Monorail[edit]

This project was first proposed by private investors as a plan to connect Line 3 with Line 4, through a route which is mostly parallel to the Ring Road's eastern arc, therefore covering New Cairo from north to south starting at the Cairo International Airport and ending at the beginning of the Cairo-Ain Sokhna Highway.[citation needed]

In August 2016 a different monorail project was under discussion, connecting 6 October city with other western parts of Greater Cairo. The line was expected to be 35 km long, cost $1.5 billion, and be completed by 2018.[46]

A contract was signed in August 2019 with Bombardier Transportation, Orascom Construction, and Arab Contractors for $4.5 billion to build and operate the two monorail lines. The first will run 54 km from eastern Cairo to the new administrative capital. The second will run 42 km from 6 October City to Giza.[47]

Qalyub Line 2 extension[edit]

As of December 2017, Spokesperson for the Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) said that there are plans to extend Line 2 7 kilometers to the north from Shubra Al-Kheima station to end at Qalyub station due to the increasing traffic in north Cairo entrances, He also said that bidding will be held in February 2018 and the winner will be revealed mid 2018. The station will be an at-grade station built parallel to the train railway, bridges will be built to divert traffic from the Metro route.[48]

Long-term plans[edit]

A transportation study of the Greater Cairo region was completed in 1999. It recommended the implementation of a six line system consisting of lines 1, 2 and 3 (existing), and lines 4, 5 and 6. The completed Metro Network would be capable of serving most of the densely populated areas in the Greater Cairo region, which was much in need of a comprehensive mass transit system. The plans include interchange stations between the six metro lines and would also provides interchange facilities with existing main railway stations, the airport, and bus stations.

The six planned metro lines aim to meet the transportation demands of the Greater Cairo area up to the year 2032.[49] However, the actual construction and implementation schedule will be restricted by available funding, and it is likely that the timetable will slip.

Line 5 would be a half-circular line connecting lines 1-4 in northern Cairo, running from Nasr City in the east, to Port Said Street and Shubra El Kheima in the west. It would have a length of 20 kilometres (12 mi), entirely within bored tunnels.[8][9] It would intersect Line 1 at Helmiet el-Zaitoun station, Line 2 at El-Khalafawy station, Line 3 at Haroun station, and Line 4 at Al-Wafaa we al-Amal station.[50]

Line 6 would be a north-south line, from Shubra in the north to the Maadi and Helwan districts in the south. It would run from Ataba Station through El Kalaa street in bored tunnels to Salah Eldin Citadel Station (Interchange with Line 4) and moving on from there to both districts via bored tunnels using the existing route El-Mahager Railway as a guide through both Maadi and Helwan. This Line has a length of 19 kilometres (12 mi).[8][9] It would intersect Line 1 at Ghamra station, Line 3 at Bab al-Sharia station, Line 4 at Amr Ibn al-Ase station, and Line 5 at Sawah station.[50]

Network map[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Counting transfer stations only once.


  1. ^ "TWINNING PROJECT FICHE - Assistance to the Egyptian Metro Company (ECM) in Reforming Railway Safety Regulations, Procedures and Practices" (PDF). Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Cairo". 28 August 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b Sood, Suemedha (15 March 2013). "Subway systems by the numbers". BBC. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  4. ^ See:
  5. ^ "About Company". Cairo Metro. Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  6. ^ Barrow, Keith (14 March 2014). "Cairo to order new trains for metro Line 1". International Railway Journal. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Inc. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  7. ^ Banerjee, M.K.; El Hoda, N. (October 1998). "Review of the automatic train control system for Cairo Metro line 2". Power Engineering Journal. IET. 12 (5): 217–228. doi:10.1049/pe:19980506. ISSN 0950-3366.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Cairo Metro, Egypt". Kable. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Cairo". UrbanRail.Net. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "First Line Working". Cairo Metro, Inc. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  11. ^ Boskovitch, Angela (12 May 2015). "Photo Essay: Cairo's Transit Woes". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  12. ^ Cowell, Alan (15 January 1990). "Cairo Journal; For Women Only: A Train Car Safe From Men". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  13. ^ Hebeishy, Reda (30 July 2014). "Metro lines' working hours return Thursday to 20h instead of 21h". Alyoum Alsabea. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Getting Around Cairo". U.S. News & World Report Travel. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  15. ^ "ننشر تعليمات التشغيل الجديدة لمترو الأنفاق بعد رفع سعر التذكرة لـ2 جنيه". Youm7 (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  16. ^ "بالصور...تعرف على أسعار اشتراكات المترو بعد الزيادة الجديدة على". Masrawy (in Arabic). Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  17. ^ Rehab Ismail (11 May 2018). "In-depth look at Cairo metro's fare increase". news website of the nation’s oldest and bestselling English-language social affairs magazine Egypt Today. Retrieved 30 September 2019. The Ministry of Transportation has increased the price of metro tickets for the second time in less than a year.
  18. ^ "Egypt receives second batch of 32 air conditioned trains for Cairo metro". Alternative Africa. London. 14 July 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  19. ^ a b c d e "Metro lines". Cairo Metro, Inc. Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  20. ^ a b "FAQ". Cairo Metro, Inc. Archived from the original on 23 June 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  21. ^ a b c "Line 2". National Authority for Tunnels. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  22. ^ El-Nahhas, Fathalla M. (2006). "Tunnelling and Supported Deep Excavations in the Greater Cairo" (pdf). Int. Symposium on Utilization of Underground Space in Urban Areas: 5. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  23. ^ "StackPath".
  24. ^ a b c d e "Line 3". railway-news. 19 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Salama, Saiyed (1987). Metro Al Anfaq. Beirut: Dar Al Maaref. ISBN 978-977-02-2155-6.
  26. ^ "Transurb Technirail Wins Contract to Develop a Driving Simulator for Cairo Metro in Egypt". Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  27. ^ a b c d "National Authority for Tunnels - EIA Study for Greater Cairo Metro Line No.4 Phase 1 - Final Report" (PDF). Environics. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  28. ^ "Alcatel extends the communications infrastructure of Cairo's metro line 2". Paris: Alcatel Lucent. 26 April 2005. Archived from the original on 23 October 2005. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  29. ^ "Urban transportation simulators for tramways, metro and suburban trains" (PDF). CORYS. 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  30. ^ "Egypt Digs First Tunnel Under Nile". Associated Press News Archive. Associated Press. 3 March 1998. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  31. ^ Abeer Saady (May–June 2007). "Cairo's Metro Gets Bigger & Better". German-Arab chamber of industry and commerce. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  32. ^ "VINCI : Opening of Phase 1 of Line 3 of the Cairo metro". Surperformance. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  33. ^ "New Abbasiya-Heliopolis metro line opens in Cairo". Ahram Online. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  34. ^ "Cairo metro Line 3 extension opens". Railway Gazette International. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  35. ^ Egypt opens three new stations in the Cairo metro system ahead of 2019 AFCON
  36. ^ "Line 1". National Authority for Tunnels. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  37. ^ a b "Greater Cairo Metro Network". Egyptian Tunneling Society. 15 April 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2008.
  38. ^ "Cairo's metro goes under Nile". BBC News. 19 April 1999. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  39. ^ "Metro Line 4, Phase 1". Egypt Transport Infrastructure Monitor. Frontier MEA Ltd. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  40. ^ a b "Egypt begins Cairo Metro Line 4's Phase I in FY15". Zawya. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  41. ^ a b "Egypt to begin Cairo Metro Line 4 in 2015". TradeArabia Business News Information. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  42. ^ "Cairo Metro Line 4 (Phase 1)". 31 January 2019. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019. The project's scope of work involves the construction of metro line 4 in Cairo, Egypt. Phase 1 metro line will run from El-Malek El-Saleh Station (Interchange with Line 1) to the October-Oasis Highway Station with a total length of 18 km, passing through Giza Railway Station (Interchange with Line 2). The project also includes the plan to connect the end of Line 4 to the suburbs of 6 October mainly through executing The October 6th Tram system (The O6T) which will be by using a Tram-train system supplied with the Alstom Regio-Citadis trams.

    For the rolling stock, the project will require eight train sets, with each featuring 23 cars.
  43. ^ "Cairo Metro". Railways Africa. 2 December 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  44. ^ Briginshaw, David (14 November 2014). "Egypt allocates funds to expand Cairo metro". International Railway Journal. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Inc. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  45. ^ El-Din, Mohamed Alaa (28 October 2018). "NAT accepts Mitsubishi's technical offer to supply first-phase trains for fourth Metroline". Daily News Egypt. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  46. ^ "Egypt, Canada's Bombardier discuss monorail project near Cairo". Ahram Online. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  47. ^ News, Urban Transport (13 August 2019). "Cairo awards contract to supply and operation of two monorail lines in Egypt". Urban Transport News. Retrieved 22 November 2021. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  48. ^ "Egypt, Transport Minister looks to extend Cairo Metro Line 2 to Qalyub". Enterprise Press. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  49. ^ Alaa El-Din, Mohamed (30 August 2016). "4 companies qualify for final tender of Cairo metro line 4 phase I". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  50. ^ a b "National Authority for Tunnel". Retrieved 10 January 2017.
Other references

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]