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Conductors: Trains are faulty, more accidents likely
Published in Almasry Alyoum on 26 - 10 - 2009

Saturday's train crash in Ayyat will be just the beginning in a new series of accidents if train conditions are not improved, say conductors at the Egyptian National Railways (ENR).
A number of conductors from the ENR are threatening to stage a sit-in and further action to protest operating new locomotives that they say are full of flaws and which resulted in the accident in Ayyat.
Two trains collided in Ayyat on Saturday, killing 18 and injuring dozens more.
Egypt's main railway station in Cairo was thrown into disarray due to suspension of train service to Upper Egypt for more than seven hours in the wake of the accident. A number of passengers had to return tickets after not being able to travel as scheduled.
"We submitted a complaint to Mahmoud Sami chairman of the Egyptian National Railways as well as a report to the general prosecutor against the new locomotives," said Mohamed Salah, a train conductor. "These locomotives are full of defects and could result in several accidents. But nobody responded to us."
Ahmed Ragab, an employee at a repair workshop, criticized the ENR, which he says brought in locomotives from abroad without training drivers how to operate them. "The foreign manufacturers should have provided training to drivers for a period of not less than five years so that they would be qualified to deal with any emergency or problem with the locomotives at any time," he said.
Ahmed Salah, another train conductor, said failures occur daily with the new locomotives, though the ENR neglects to announce them and only drivers bear responsibility.
The train drivers appealed to Minister of Transport Mohamed Mansour to set up a specialized committee to inspect the new locomotives and identify technical problems to ensure that they operate safely.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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