For GCC, a Challenge Within Reach: The Gulf Rail Network
Policy Mic | Mona Sukkarieh | 8.22.12
Railways have never been the preferred mode of transportation in the Gulf, neither for passengers nor for goods, for geographic reasons and, mostly, due to the affordable prices of fuel for road transportation. But in the next few years, and in order to boost trade, Gulf countries are expected to spend more than $100 billion on rail and metro investments. Work at the national level is still in its early stages in most of these countries, with considerable progress being made in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Existing or planned national lines will either be part of the wider GCC network or link to it. Each country is responsible for building its own segment of the GCC network, along with its stations and terminals. The construction phase will begin in 2013 and the network is expected to become operational in 2017.