GCC Railway Project Is Finally Approved

Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers approved the implementation of a $25 billion Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) railway project, which aims to link the six GCC countries through a 2,117-km railway network.

Work on the railway would start in 2012 and should be completed in 2017. Beginning from Kuwait, the railway will pass by the eastern Saudi city of Dammam, it will connect with Bahrain through a bridge parallel to King Fahd Causeway before reaching Qatar via Salwa while another line will connect Saudi Arabia with the UAE through Bathaa.

The railway will run through Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain to reach Oman through Sahar and Muscat, and will also connect Qatar and Bahrain through a bridge. Land acquisition expenditures for the project is estimated at $3.1 billion while the cost of purchasing trains and locomotives at $1.8 billion.

The plan is to finish it by 2017. But I doubt that in 5 years there will be a fully operating railway in the GCC. The residential building near my house took 4 years and it was supposed to be finished in only 2. Sadly that’s how projects usually are around here.

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