A trip on the LRT in Cairo

While waling around the city of Cairo (specifically Heliopolis), I saw these trains that are running above the ground on rails that sometimes cross the roads.

After a quick look at Google Earth, and checking the Community KMZ files, I found a KMZ that included Metro, Bus, and LRT lines, these were LRTs:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_rail

I saw that they go close to my training course, and decided to try them if I ever get tired of walking. I previously sat on a bench on one of the stations, but never dared to go on the train since I did not know where it went.

The other day, I gave it a try.

I waited for about 15 minutes, GPSr in hand, and when it came I hopped in.

The trains don’t look as good as the trains in Wikipedia, They are old, mostly made out of broken wood, and the doors don’t always close.

lrt

There was a guy standing there with change in his hands, and a book of tickets. Not knowing the price for the ride I gave him 5 Egyptian Pounds (EGP), he gave me back 4.75, so the ride is 0.25EGP, around 5 cents. (The people on the train seemed to consider this real money, and not loose change, a girl paid 0.5 for herself and a friend, and her friend paid her back 0.25.)

The trip was very bumpy, with the train swinging left and right and a top speed of 30km/h (measured by GPS, the average speed is about 12km/h, so some people jump off before it reaches the station when it’s closer to their destination).

At one station, a guy came in with a box full of decks of playing cards and shouted trying to sell them “only 1 Guinea, the playing cards that are sold everywhere for 3”, in another station, an older guy had a box of magnifying glasses, the Sherlock Holmes type “High quality magnifying glasses, good for reading small text” he screamed.

It was a facinating ride, maybe I’ll do it again.

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1 Response

  1. Monday , the 3rd of June, 2013

    […] wrote a little bit about it in June 2007, in “Walking Around” and “A trip on the LRT” while I was on a month-long training course in Cairo, and I haven’t written much more […]

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