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Feasibility Study for Gulf Railway

The Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) has begun a feasibility study for a 600-mile railway that will connect all six GCC countries, the London-based daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported. 
The study began last month and will take approximately one year, said Ramzi Al-‘A’ssar, a Saudi-based senior transport specialist of the World Bank on Tuesday.
Al-‘A’ssar explained the main purpose of the proposed project would be to ease and integrate the transportation between the GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. Other benefits include the improvement of GCC internal trade, as well as providing many job opportunities.
Initial information regarding the costs of the project will be available by February 2008, he said.
Al-‘Assar made his comments during the Middle East Rail Projects (MEED) conference in Dubai. The proposed GCC track, he said, will run along coastal areas from Kuwait to Oman.
Al-‘A’ssar said a decision had been taken by the GCC leaders to go ahead with the plan.
"They are serious, they are committed. It is on top of their agenda," he said
Meanwhile, the Emirati daily Gulf News reports that work is expected to begin next year on an internal UAE railway line that will connect all six emirates via a 500-mile track. The UAE rail project will become part of the GCC-wide-rail network.
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait already have large rail projects and, according to regional plans, these projects will eventually be connected with the GGC rail network. Other plans are underway toward linking the GCC rail network with Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.