Upgrade to GCC rail network may push costs up by 65%

The Gulf Co-operation Council's rail network may upgrade the project to have train speeds of 350kph from the earlier planned 200kph, a move that will increase the capital cost to $25.6 billion (Dh94bn) or 65 per cent higher than current estimates, Emirates Business has learnt.

Also, contracts for the $15.5bn GCC rail network will be awarded in December, while contracts related to the formation of a GCC Railway Authority will be announced in July this year, Dr Ramiz Al Assar, Senior Chief Representative for GCC Secretariat-General and Senior Transport Specialist at World Bank, said on the sidelines of the Rail Infrastructure Middle East 2010.

The regional railway was declared commercially and financially feasible by all the member states last month, he said.

Each member state will pay the capital cost based on the length of the railway on its territory.

The project is now under the implementation phase.

 

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