• Gulf Cooperation Council: Arabia and the Gulf Joint Railways

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by george matthews
I came across this story.
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/sing ... -year.html
A network of railways covering the Arabian peninsula is an interesting idea. Will it actually happen?

I think if there is ever to be a trans-North African railway it should follow this model. But there is no organisation of North African states to sponsor it.
  by lpetrich
Wikipedia has these nice references: Rail transport by country, Rail usage statistics by country, and List of countries by rail transport network size

Also, Gulf Railway - Kuwait - Saudi Arabia - United Arab Emirates - Oman - possibly Yemen, with branches from SA to Bahrain and Qatar.
And Global Mass Transit: GCC Metro Plans: Ambitious investment plans for metro rail sector

Saudi Arabia has a RR line from the capital Riyadh east to Dammam on the Persian Gulf. It also has several RR lines in various stages of construction and planning: Along the route:
Kuwait: Kuwait Metro tender due next year: paper | ConstructionWeekOnline.com
Bahrain: Bahrain metro plan delayed amid cash crisis - Transport - ArabianBusiness.com
Qatar: Work begins on Qatar's epic rail project | GDS Publishing - mostly in Doha, the capital
United Arab Emirates: Oman: Muscat Metro planned
  by george matthews
Some 35 years ago I rode the Saudi train from Dammam to Hofuf. It was then a secondhand American train (I have no idea of its provenance). I rode in the rear car - an observation car - and returned to Dammam by bus. I was working for Aramco at Ras Tanura.

About 25 years ago I walked with some friends to the rail yard in Dammam and observed the locomotives and carriages there. The Saudis had bought some French equipment. I saw the former American carriages parked in a rail yard in Dammam near the sea. I used to take pictures of the daily container train from Dammam port as it left for Riyadh (I was working in the port). In fact I used to chase it in my car along the causeway as it left the port.

At that time they were building a new terminal passenger station at Dammam to replace the old colonial style station in the centre of town. It had enough platforms to handle a much larger service than they had. Perhaps they would build a line to Jubail up the coast.

There have always been rather grandiose plans for railways in Saudi but usually nothing happens. I wonder if this new Gulf plan will happen. I used to sketch out such a network for my students in Aramco. I don't think they paid much attention.
  by Jeff Smith
So I came across this in my feed yesterday, and a search revealed this topic. Looks like planning is moving forward to establish cross-border Middle East railway amongst Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Qatar. Having been to the Middle East during Desert Storm, I can say "إنشالله بكرة", in English "Insha'llah Bukra", or God willing. It's also slang for "forget it". Hopefully, that's not the case.

GCC Info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Cooperation_Council and https://gcc-sg.org/en-us/Pages/default.aspx

https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Intern ... t.amp.html
GCC Nations Unite For Mega Railway Project

Following delays, the long-awaited GCC Railway looks likely to be revitalised - a move that could transform trade and connectivity across the Gulf. The initiative was given a significant boost in December 2021 when leaders of the six GCC countries approved the establishment of the GCC Railways Authority, the body that will oversee the coordination of the project. The decision marks a potentially significant development for rail infrastructure in the region.

In 2009 after a decades-long debate, all member states approved the GCC Railway project. However, fiscal pressures delayed plans in recent years. These setbacks were associated with the oil price drop of 2014 and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic and diplomatic tensions, the latter of which resulted in an economic blockade of Qatar by some of its regional counterparts from June 2017 to January 2021.

The proposed plan aims to connect the GCC countries via a 2177-km railway. Starting in Kuwait City in the north, the rail line will pass through the coastal cities of Jubail and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, before heading through Bahrain's capital Manama and Doha, the capital of Qatar. The line would then cut back into Saudi Arabia before moving to the UAE, where it would pass through the major cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah, before reaching its terminal station in Muscat, the capital of Oman.