Gulf railway likely to be delayed, official says

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman are said to have made significant domestic progress with the project

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The multi-billion dollar GCC railway project, a long-distance network connecting the six Gulf states, is likely to be delayed by infrastructural and technical problems, a senior official has said.

In a report by Kuwait Times, Abdul Raheem Naqi, the secretary general of the Federation of GCC Chambers, said that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman have made significant progress in domestically executing the project and linking cities together via railroads.

Bahrain has recently selected a specialised international company to execute the project, which would initially start operating locally before connecting various GCC states, he added.

However, looking at the Kuwait scenario, Naqi said that the country had faced several obstacles in developing the railway project in recent years, primarily because of farms and other private property that lay in the way of the proposed route.

In addition, the relevant government bodies working on the project had to make sure that the route did not conflict with existing oil facilities, he said.

Construction work on the project was originally scheduled to start in 2018, is now pencilled in for 2020, he concluded.

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