Transport ministers approve GCC railway study

15 October 2008
GCC transport ministers approved the feasibility study for the GCC railway on 15 October, paving the way for negotiations over the final specifications of the project.

A meeting of ministers in Doha approved the 1,500-kilometre project, which will link all six member states along the eastern coast of the Arabian peninsula, from Kuwait to Oman.

The study was submitted in mid-September by the project consultants, a group of Canada's Canarail, French rail firm Systra and Lebanese consultant Khatib & Alami.

However, several issues remain under discussion. In particular, the question of whether to have a single regulator for the project - as recommended by the study - or six national bodies, remains unresolved.

“These questions will all be resolved but for now the important thing is that the project looks like it’s going ahead,” says a rail official close to the talks.

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