“We are working on a unified law and the needed requirements for rail passenger and freight transport in the GCC. This will develop the railway system and will allow a smoothly transformation of GCC’s transport system. The railway transport increased, and we are committed to invest in developing GCC’s railway network. For this plan, the technical requirements and the design are completed. We will implement the second phase of the railway strategy and we will soon establish the timeline,” said Khalifa Bin Saeed Al-Abri, Assistant Secretary General for Economic and Development Affairs, at the GCC General Secretariat, at the Middle East Rail2019, held in Dubai.
Under the GCC railway plan, a 2200-km railway network will link the six countries, from Muscat, in Oman, to Kuwait and will develop region’s economy and transport sector.
By 2023, the GCC countries will be connected by the railway network. According to estimations, by 2021 the first phase which links Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates will be completed and in 2023 Bahrain and Kuwait will have railway connection with the other countries. Currently, the consultancy plans with Bahrain are completed and the study on freight and passenger demand will be soon released. In Bahrain, the 70-km rail line will connect the proposed Bahrain passenger terminal at Salmabad and freight facilities at Khalifa bin Salman Port to the existing railway line in the region between Dammam and Al Houfuf. The rail connection will form Bahrain’s link to the GCC railway project and wider GCC rail network. In Bahrain, around 8 million passengers per year are estimated to use the rail connection by 2050.