GCC railway project feasibility studies to be launched

railroad  Wouter KielTechnical specifications for the GCC railway project have been drawn up. (Image source: WouterKiel/Flickr)Two international firms will conduct feasibility studies for the proposed multibillion-dollar railway project that will link the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries

Bahraini minister of transport Kamal bin Ahmad said that the two companies will conduct technical, consultative and engineering studies. He did not specify a time line for the start of the project.

Bin Ahmad said that Saudi Arabian and Bahraini finance and transport ministries have agreed to appoint the General Organisation of the King Fahd Causeway as the body to choose the company that will oversee the project.

The Bahraini minister said the technical specifications for the project have been drawn up.

In addition, the six GCC countries have been asked to double check the coordinates for the railway lines, junctions and stations, to ensure paying the minimum cost possible and adherence to environmental safety standards.

Bin Ahmad said it was unlikely that the project will cost US$11bn as estimated by the World Bank. It is expected to cost much lesser that the previous estimate.

Saudi transport minister Jabara Al-Seraisry said the six nations were focusing much attention on the project.

“There is a big movement and lobbying to implement the decision of the higher council of GCC states to complete the project by 2018,” he said.  

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