Metro, tram, proposed monorail, planned light rail

Line 1 of the Cairo metro opened in 1987. It is sometimes referred to as the French Built Line, or more commonly, the Regional Line, since it came about from the joining of two regional railways.  The 43.5 km line (3 km underground) serves 33 stations with an hourly 60,000 passenger capacity per direction. Running from El-Marg to Helwan, the line is mostly above ground, with the downtown section in subway.

Line 2, from Shoubra to Cairo University, is 19 km long with 18 stations. It is sometimes called the Japanese Built Line, and during the opening phases of construction, lines of Japanese carrying gigantic stones on their backs could be seen for miles. Eventually, a tunnel boring machines was acquired.

Opened in four stages, beginning in October 1996 and finished in 2000, Line 2 is being extended to Giza. It currently includes the
first ever underground crossing of the Nile River. It is mostly in bored tunnel, except for 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.

first 5.5 km phase of Line 3 opened in January 2012. When complete, it will stretch 30 km from Imbaba to Al Hazar and then to the airport  Originally planned on being entirely underground, the fourth phase of the project was revised to an overground version, saving the project over a billion dollars. The project will likely replace the existing Heliopolis light railway.

The seats on Line 3 were barely warm a month when Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels
gave the go ahead for construction on the 17 station, 18 km Line 4, will connect El Malek El Saleh with October 6 City, where a tram line is planned.

Three more lines are proposed.

When in Cairo, be sure to visit the metro station at Tahrir Square, which also doubles
as a convenient detention center.

The first car of each train is reserved for women, so if you're a guy, remember to bring your veil.

Cairo also has approximately 24 km of tram lines first opened in 1896. All nine lines are run by the Cairo Transportation Authority, and were built by the Belgian company, the S.A. des Tramways du Caire. The government has expressed an interest in building light rail, and a light rail project known as a Supertram was scheduled to begin construction in 2011 but never materialized.

In 2013, an 8 km tram from Ramses to Mustafa Nahhas broke ground. An article claims the tram will use unused metro tracks.

In 2006, a 52 km monorail connecting Cairo with Port Said
was being studied. Another monorail project which would connect with the airport is also in the planning stages. Since then, no pylons.  

A 44 km light rail line, called a SuperTram - not related to SuperTramp, the band - has been approved, and construction is expected to begin as soon as the riots conclude. The first phase of the line is expected to open in 2015.

An amusing story heard of Egypt's trams regards the delivery of new Tatra K5AR trams to Cairo. Finished nicely with chrome fluting and other embellishments, it was parked outside the venue of the official function while everybody retired inside to eat and make speeches. When everybody came out the tram was looking rather forlorn having been stripped of all its chrome by thieves.

Some of the finest tram photos yet from the fertile delta are at alomg with this excellent detailed report.


  • Cairo Subway Home Page
  • Cairo metro train, the first underground system
  • Obligatory Map
  • A picture of a train and a station
  • Electrical Equipment for EMUs for Cairo Subway Line 2 by Toshiba
  • Ada in the Cairo and Calcutta Metro Systems
  • Transportation in Cairo
  • Fun facts from the History Channel
  • Temple of Thoth found while digging the Cairo Thubway
  • Semi-official home page
  • Future plans or the Cairo metro
  •'s page on the Cairo metro system

    General Links

    History of Transportation in Cairo - brief but informative