Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kuwait to Muscat Railway Under Examination

Could prove significant logistics link
Shipping News Feature

ARABIA – The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is examining an ambitious $10 billion scheme to build a high-speed trans-Arabia rail network between Kuwait and Muscat in Oman. If approved the railway is projected to haul up to 30 million tonnes of freight and bulk goods such as minerals and petrochemical products.

Speaking at the Middle East Rail Projects 2009 conference on Tuesday David Lupton, project manager of the GCC Railway Feasibility Study, said that if agreed upon the new network could be operational as early as 2017.

Though a final decision to proceed would not be taken until 2011, Lupton added that: “The GCC Secretariat is working on development of the next phase involving establishing a railway company and authority and undertaking detailed design.”

Plans for the line envisage more than 1250 miles of track running from Kuwait City to Muscat via Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE. In addition, several of the countries involved are already extending their existing lines to service other areas. These would in turn link onto the new track, opening up substantial new routes throughout the Arabian peninsula for passenger and logistics traffic.