Railways authority report shows decline in rail tractors number due to need for maintenance

A recent report issued by Egyptian railways authority in October showed decline in number of rail tractors by 40 percent, reaching 346 out of 821 tractors.
The report and documents obtained by Al-Masry Al-Youm showed that 20 percent of tractors fell completely out of function due to lack of maintenance. The remaining 40 percent of tractors are still working but in bad condition, already having caused four accidents, last of which was the Dahshour train accident, when it hit two buses killing 27 citizens and injuring other 28 who were coming back from wedding ceremony.
According to the documents, the spare parts are being held at Airmass company, owned by the railways authority since 2009. Sixty percent of the tractors have been out of service as Airmass did not carry out duties included in the contract with the authority.
In 2008, Airmass imported spare parts at LE124 million for maintenance of 29 tractors, which entered service in 1995, the documents revealed. The contract showed that the spare parts were first imported at beginning of 2009.
Maintenance was carried out for 24 rail tractors, while the rest five others are still without maintenance.
Workers disclosed that only one kind of the spare parts were used for one tractor, while the rest of the spare parts had not been used since 2009. No one knows the reason behind not using the spare parts.
The report added that no maintenance has been carried out for the 18 rail tractors, despite importing spare parts for them, contrary to the spare parts contract, which confirms testimonies of workers who said that the spare parts were not used for the maintenance.  
Since Airmass company was first established in 2009, number of non-working rail tractors had reached 202, in addition to other 273 tractors in need of swift maintenance. The remaining 346 out of 821 tractors are working properly.
Despite the growing maintenance problems and the company's failure in facing the crisis, the authority extended in 2011 Airmass’s board term for another three years. No measures were taken against it, except for blaming it for delay in carrying out the maintenance.
The crisis of the non-working tractors was revealed through letters exchanged between departments of the railways authority, which criticised Airmass performance.
The recent report was submitted by Al-Masry Al-Youm last week to Ministry of Transportation. However, no one responded.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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