The Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) will issue tenders for the design of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) train project in the Kingdom in February.
Mohammed Al-Suwaiket, president of the SRO, said that every individual GCC state would be responsible for the design and implementation of their part of the project.
Al-Suwaiket was speaking recently on the sidelines of the fourth Saudi Arabia International Transportation, Materials Handling, Warehousing and Logistics Exhibition and Conference (Saudi TRANSTEC), at the Dhahran International Exhibitions Center in Dammam.
He said the tenders would involve international firms. “There is no specialized Saudi firm in the field of designing and implementing railways. We expect the designs to be ready by the end of the coming year. This means the implementation process will commence early in 2015,” Al-Suwaiket said.
The 2,200-km GCC railway project will link all member states, starting from Kuwait and ending in Oman, and cost $15.5 billion. The project includes a causeway rail link between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Gulf officials said earlier that each Gulf state would bear the costs of its part of the project on its land. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
Al-Suwaiket dismissed claims that the project has faltered. “One cannot deny that there have been some delays, particularly when the project had to shift course to the west of Hufouf, but construction works resumed recently.”