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Messages for U.S. Citizens

SECURITY MESSAGE FOR U.S. CITIZENS No. 26: Embassy Temporarily Prohibits Train Travel in Egypt by Mission Personnel

January 17, 2013

 U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt

The January 14 train accident south of Cairo (Badrashin district, Giza), which resulted in at least 19 killed and over 100 injured, has sparked protest activity at train stations in Cairo and Alexandria. The train had been carrying new police recruits to Cairo to begin their training in the Central Security Forces. In Alexandria, protestors clashed with police at the Sidi Gaber train station resulting in a number of arrests as well as provoking angry confrontations with passengers upset over delays and the inability to exit the station. In Cairo, protestors staged a sit-in inside Ramses Station and built fires on the track as many sought to shut down train movement and cope with the cold weather. 

Due to the uncertain security situation associated with traveling by train, the Embassy wishes to inform U.S. citizens that until further notice all train travel by U.S. Embassy personnel in Egypt is prohibited. The Embassy will continue to monitor the security situation and will advise accordingly when it believes it is safe to resume use of the train system.

This prohibition does not apply to the Metro commuter system.

As a matter of general practice, U.S. citizens should avoid areas where large gatherings may occur.  Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.  U.S. citizens in Egypt are urged to monitor local news reports and to plan their activities accordingly. 

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt.  For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor theDepartment of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide CautionCountry Specific Information for EgyptTravel Warnings, and Travel Alerts, can be found.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App and the Android market to have travel information at your fingertips.  

Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy Cairo through the State Department’sSmart Traveler Enrollment Program website.  If you enroll we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

For further information, U.S. citizens may call the Embassy’s American Citizens Services Unit at 2797-2301 during business hours, Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Please refer to the American Citizens Services Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/USEmbassyCairo.  For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard at 2797-3300.  The Embassy is located at 5 Tawfik Diab Street (formerly known as Latin America Street), Garden City, Cairo.