Kuwait says work has begun on 111-km railway project to connect country to GCC
August 27, 2018 – Phase One of the project will see new line being built to Nuwaiseb on Saudi border
Kuwait officials have said that work has begun on a 111-km railway project that will connect country to the rest of the GCC states.
According to a report by Al Anba newspaper, Phase One of the project will see a new line being built to Nuwaiseb on the Saudi border, and a 153-km long line linking Kuwait City with Boubyan Port. Citing senior officials, the report added that Phase One will cost an estimated $3 billion.
Kuwait aims to complete the project on the specified dates, as per the GCC’s general secretariat plan, the report said, explaining that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar will operate the new Gulf States Railway in 2021, while Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman will take over in 2023.
In March 2017, a senior official said that the multi-billion-dollar GCC railway project would likely be delayed due to infrastructural and technical problems.
A report by Kuwait Times quoted Abdul Raheem Naqi, the secretary general of the Federation of GCC Chambers, as saying that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman had made significant progress in domestically executing the project and linking cities together via railroads, but that Kuwait had faced several obstacles in developing the railway project in recent years, primarily due to farms and private properties that lay in the way of the proposed route. Relevant government bodies working on the project also had to make sure that the route did not conflict with existing oil facilities.
Construction work on the project was originally scheduled to start in 2018, is now pencilled in for 2020, he said at the time.