Transport GCC railway sets 2030 operational target By Gavin Gibbon November 17, 2023 Oman News Agency The Committee of GCC Ministers of Transport and Communications met in Muscat, Oman Target agreed in Muscat Lines between key cities Planned route of 2,117km The long-awaited GCC railway network will be operational by December 2030, it has been announced. The target date was agreed by the Committee of GCC Ministers of Transport and Communications at a meeting in Muscat, Oman on Thursday. The 2,117km route will connect key cities in each of the six member states. The long-awaited GCC rail project has been in gestation for years, but it suffered a particular setback from a plunge in oil prices in 2014. New life was breathed into the scheme in 2021 when all member states met at AlUla in Saudi Arabia and reaffirmed their commitment to the line. Orascom wins deals as Egypt steps up transport ambitions GCC on track to be linked by rail in next 10 years Etihad Rail finishes laying tracks in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah The UAE is the only country to have made much in the way of progress. In June this year, Ed James, head of content and analysis at Meed, said GCC governments were preparing to hand out $167 billion of contracts for the project. “We should expect to see some significant contracts awarded on the railway to link all the GCC states over the next 24 to 26 months,” he said. In November 2019, the Netherlands’ KPMG, US-based Aecom and Germany-headquartered CMS were appointed as advisers for the project. The Middle East and North Africa region has less than 24,000km of developed railway tracks over a land area of 15 million sq km. There are no operational railways in Bahrain, Oman or Kuwait.