Egypt has increased the prices of train tickets in an effort to raise funds to improve the rail service. Image Credit: AP

Cairo: Starting from Thursday, Egypt partially increased prices of train tickets in an effort to raise funds to improve the country’s ageing rail service.

Fares of 38 new and air-conditioned trains, which went into service Friday, have increased by 25 per cent, according to media reports. The trains, imported from Russia, operate on different routes in the country of around 100 million.

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The rise took effect on the eve of Eid Al Adha festival during which many Egyptians travel to their home town for reunion with their families.

“The increase aims at covering a portion of the operation and wage costs of the National Airway Authority,” Transport Minister Kamel Al Wazir said.

The annual spending of the state-run agency reached 7.5 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh1.7billion) last year against LE3 billion, according to the minister.

“The price rise will be limited to the new trains. There will be no increase in prices of other trains already in service across the nation,” he added. A total of 900 trains of different categories shuttle among Egypt’s key cities.

Al Wazir, an ex-army officer, took office as transport minister in February 2019 in the aftermath of a deadly accident in Cairo’s main rail station.

He has since sought to revamp the nation’s rail network and replace decrepit trains.