The proposed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail network project is back on track reported Kuwait’s official news agency, citing a GCC official.
The long-awaited rail network linking the six members of the GCC was approved at a leaders’ summit in 2004 and is expected to begin construction in 2010 or 2011.
“The initial studies of the project were finalized and approved by GCC leaders,” the organisation’s assistant secretary general Mohammed Obaid Al-Mazroui told KUNA.
If everything goes smoothly, the network, running around 2,000 km from the Kuwait-Iraq border to Oman, would be put into operation in 2017, the official added.
Al-Mazroui said the estimated cost of the project has jumped from US$14 billion to around US$25 billion, adding that the significant increase was the result of improvements to the specifications ordered by the rulers of the GCC member states.
The cost would be shared among the six-members, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said Al-Mazrouie.
“An international partnership has been asked to compile the study and work on it began a few days ago, he said.”
“The Dubai Metro is a project that encourages the idea of the use of trains in GCC member states,’ Al-Mazrouie added.