Construction of GCC railway to start in 2015.

Construction of GCC railway

Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO) expects the design of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) train project in the Kingdom to be ready by the end of next year.

Mohammed Al-Suwaiket, president of the SRO, told Arab News that every individual GCC state would be responsible for the design and implementation of their part of the project.He said the tenders for the design and implementation of the 2,200 km network would involve international firms.

“There is no specialized Saudi firm in the field of designing and implementing railways. We expect the designs to be ready by the end of the coming year. This means the implementation process will commence early in 2015.”

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The GCC railway project will link all member states, starting from Kuwait and ending in Oman. It also includes a causeway rail link between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.Gulf officials said earlier that each Gulf state would bear the costs of its part of the project on its land. The network is expected to be completed in 2018.

Al-Suwaiket dismissed claims that the project has faltered. “One cannot deny that there have been some delays, particularly when the project had to shift course to the west of Hufouf, but construction works resumed recently.”

Calculations by World Bank had put the cost of the project as high as $11bn (AED40.4bn) but in October the Bahraini Minister of Transport Kamal bin Ahmad said this figure was too high.

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