Saudi minister confirms GCC railway project study

GCC ministers undertake project study on groundbreaking 2,117km regional railway network.
GCC ministers undertake project study on groundbreaking 2,117km regional railway network.
GCC ministers undertake project study on groundbreaking 2,117km regional railway network.

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A project study is underway for the GCC Rail project, a senior minister has revealed.

The railway network, which is due to complete by 2018, will span 2,117km, and link all six GCC member states.

Abdullah Al-Muqbil, Saudi Arabia's transport minister, said the ongoing project study will end in 2016.

"The project study will end in March 2016 and then the discussion between the GCC countries will follow to execute the plan," he stated, according to Reuters.

Al-Muqbil added a plan is also in the pipeline to implement at least 60,000km of roads in the upcoming years as Saudi seeks to spur development within its borders.

The UAE's under-construction Etihad Rail, spanning 1,200km, is also scheduled to be completed in 2018.

There have previously been concerns that the GCC Rail might be delayed due to varying levels of project progress reported by each member state.

In July, Kuwaiti minister of parliament Faisal Al Kandari recommended Kuwait follow a system similar to that followed internationally, and within the Gulf, where a unified body tenders, awards, and manages rail projects.

Al Kandari added Kuwait must strive to catch up with its GCC neighbours, most of which have "started the implementation of the railway project to link the entire Gulf".

"Kuwait is still lagging behind", he added, according to Arab News.

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