GCC rail to be completed by 2023
Kuwait has started work on a 111-km railway project that connects the Gulf countries, according to Al Anba.
The Gulf Railway, also known as the GCC Railway, is a proposed railway system to connect all six GCC-member states in the Persian Gulf.
The rail network will have a total length of 2,177km.
The project is estimated to cost US$250 billion. It is scheduled to be completed by 2021.
Each of the six GCC member states are responsible for implementing the portion of the project that lies within their territory, and will construct their own railway lines and branches, stations and freight terminals.
The cost will be shared by the six countries in proportion to the length of the rail network in each country.
As a result, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will spend the most on the project, followed by Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
The Saudi Railway Company will develop the network in Saudi Arabia, Etihad Rail in the UAE, Oman Rail in Oman, and Qatar Rail in Qatar.
The project has met hurdles on account of challenges with the financing of the project exacerbated by low oil prices, and lack of alignment of the interests of the six states involved.
Phase One of the project in Kuwait will see a new line being built to Nuwaiseb on the Saudi border and a 153-km-long line linking Kuwait City with Boubyan port at an estimated cost of US$3 billion.
The project is expected to be completed by 2023.