Transport in Egypt
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Transport in Egypt is centered in Cairo and largely follows the pattern of settlement along the Nile. The main line of the nation's rail system follows along the great river and is operated by Egyptian National Railways. The badly maintained road network has expanded rapidly to over 21,000 miles, covering the Nile Valley and Nile Delta, Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, the Sinai and the Western oasis.
In addition to overseas routes, Egypt Air provides reliable domestic air service to major tourist destinations from its Cairo hub. The Nile River system (about 1,600 km or 1,000 mi) and the principal canals (1,600 km.) are important locally for transportation.
The Suez Canal is a major waterway of international commerce and navigation, linking the Mediterranean and Red Sea. The ministry of transportation, along with other governmental bodies are responsible for transportation in Egypt. Major ports are Alexandria, Port Said, Damietta on the Mediterranean and Suez and Safaga on the Red Sea.
Egypt has one of the highest incidence of road fatalities per miles driven in the world. There are few, if any road markings. Most traffic lights in Cairo appear not to function, but rather intersections are staffed by policemen who use subtle finger movements to indicate which cars may move. Traffic rules are routinely ignored by impatient drivers: vehicles travel at high speed or the wrong way on one-way streets. Pedestrians constantly dodge in and out of traffic, and animals are commonly on the roads. Rare winter rains can cause extremely slippery road surfaces or localized flooding.
Intercity roads are generally in good condition, but unmarked surfaces, stray animals, and disabled vehicles without lights or reflectors are among the many hazards that can be encountered on highways, especially after dark.
Some roads, especially in the Sinai and southeastern part of the country, are off-limits to foreigners.
A popular form of transportation is by boat. Even though Egypt has expanded and developed its road system, people still travel on the Nile to get from place to place.
Two routes in the Trans-African Highway network originate in Cairo. Egypt also has multiple highway links with Asia through the Arab Mashreq International Road Network. Egypt has a developing motorway network, connecting Cairo with Alexandria and other cities. Though most of the transport in the country is still done on the national highways, motorways are becoming increasingly an option in road transport within the country. The existing motorways in the country are:
- Cairo - Alexandria Desert Road: It runs between Cairo and Alexandria, with an extension of 215 km, it is the main motorway in Egypt.
- International Coastal Road: It runs from Alexandria to Port Said, along the Northern Nile Delta. It has a length of 280 km. Also, amongst other cities, it connects Damietta and Baltim.
- Geish Road: It runs between Helwan and Asyut, along the Nile River, also connecting Beni Suef and Minya. Its length is 306 km.
- Ring Road: It serves as an inner ring-road for Cairo. It has a length of 103 km.
- Regional Ring Road: It serves as an outer ring road for Cairo, also connecting its suburbs like Helwan and 10th of Ramadan City. Its length is 130 km.
Plus, Egypt has developed an extensive system of 4-lane highways that can be classified as freeways, because they serve as normal roads and do not discriminate the traffic on it, thus rendering them slower than motorways.
The Egyptian railway system is the oldest railway network in Africa and the Middle East. The first line between Alexandria and Kafer Eassa was opened in 1854. Today, the system is about 7,063 km long and is operated by the Egyptian National Railways. ENR carries about 800 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of freight annually. A major investment programme is planned to begin in 2007 with the aim of modernising the rail network and improving safety standards. Trains are usually a safe means of transportation in Egypt.
Suez Canal, 193.5 km (including approaches), used by oceangoing vessels, drawing up to about 19 m of water (soon to be increased to 22m).
Ports and harbors
- Alexandria Port - Port Authority
- Port Said Port - Port Authority
- Damietta Port - Port Authority
- Marsa Matruh
- Red Sea Ports Authority
- Suez Port
- Petroleum Dock Port
- Adabieh Port
- Sokhna Port
- Hurghada Port - Al Ghardaqah
- Safaga Port - Bur Safajah
- Noueibah Port
- Al-Tour Port
- Sharm El-Sheikh Port
Ships by type
- bulk carrier: 25
- cargo ship: 63
- container ship: 1
- Liquified Gas Carrier: 1
- passenger ship: 57
- petroleum tanker: 14
- roll-on/roll-off ship: 16
- short-sea passenger: 3 (1999 est.)
Cairo International Airport is used by numerous international airlines, including the country’s own Egypt Air. In 2003, about 4.2 million passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international flights. As of 2004, Egypt had an estimated 87 airports. In 2005 a total of 72 had paved runways, and there were 2 heliports.
Airports with paved runways
over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (1999 est.)
Airports with unpaved runways
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 9
- 3 (2007 est.)
Information from Cia.gov
- Superjet Lines
- The Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport
- List of bus companies in Egypt
- List of lighthouses in Egypt
This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.