KPMG Report: $13bn High Speed Rail to Save Nigeria Road Maintenance Cost

10/12/2014 (ThisDayLive - Nigeria): Nigeria’s ongoing $13 billion high speed rail project that is expected to transverse 10 states in the country will help remove heavy freight from the country’s stressed roads and enable government save millions it spends on road maintenance, a report has stated.Also, the report pointed out that if built, the $20 billion trans-Saharan natural gas project would be one of the world’s most expensive energy export programs, adding that it would provide a critical link between resource-rich areas in Africa and attractive markets in Western Europe.KPMG, a global professional services firm, listed these two projects in its latest report titled: “Infrastructure 100 World Market Report.”The report showcased 100 projects that embody the spirit of infrastructure, development, and private finance in four distinctly different markets across the globe...

Saudi issues 'final warning' on high-speed rail project

26/12/2014 (The China Post - China): JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia--Saudi Arabia has given a “final warning” to avoid delays on an US$8.2 billion high-speed rail project which Spanish and Saudi firms are helping to build.The Haramain High Speed Rail system is to transport Muslim pilgrims, as well as regular travelers, 450 kilometers between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina via the Red Sea port of Jeddah.Saudi Arabia signed a deal three years ago for a Spanish consortium to build the rail track, supply 35 high-speed trains and handle a 12-year maintenance contract.The Saudi Bin Laden Consortium and Saudi Oger Joint Venture received contracts for four stations, while Al-Rajhi Alliance in 2009 won the bid to construct bridges, culverts and similar work.But during a two-day inspection tour last week, the kingdom's new Transport Minister Abdullah bin Abdulrahman al-Muqbel warned that time was running out, his ministry said in a statement obtained on Wednesday.

Saudi Rail 2015 to showcase latest technologies, services

19/12/2014 (Arab News - KSA): Industry needs for the estimated SR45 billion for rail projects will be displayed at Saudi Rail 2015 to be held in Riyadh next month.The event is scheduled to take place from Jan. 25 to 28 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center (RICEC).The Saudi Rail, an International Exhibition for Rail, Metro Lines, and Urban Transportation, in cooperation with Ramatan Exposition and Conference, takes place with the support of Riyadh Governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah.It provides an ideal platform for international exhibitors to display the latest developments in the railway industry as well as highlight the lucrative opportunities in the region.The four-day Saudi Rail 2015 will showcase the latest products, equipment, technologies and services from renowned international brands as well as enable unique and highly effective networking opportunities.

GCC pushes for 2018 launch of regional rail line at summit in Qatar

10/12/2014 (Doha News - Qatar): The Gulf Cooperation Council has said it still expects a new long-distance rail line connecting member states to start service within four years, despite lingering questions about the 2018 deadline.The transportation project was one of several topics covered in a wide-ranging statementreleased last night following the conclusion of the GCC summit in Doha, which also covered security, diplomatic and economic issues.The rail route is slated to run some 2,117km and link Kuwait with Muscat through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE at a cost of US$15.4 billion.As part of the project, Qatar will initially construct 148km of freight and passenger lines running up from the Saudi Arabian border.Passenger service will extend to Education City, where travelers would be able to transfer to the Doha Metro – which isn’t scheduled to start operating until 2019 – while a freight line extends to the new port and industrial area in Mesaieed.

Etihad Rail signs MoU with quarrying firm

07/12/2014 (ConstructionWeekOnline - UAE): Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has announced yet another strategic partnership to offer logistics services to a company operating in the regional construction sector.Stevin Rock, one of the world’s largest quarrying companies, has chosen to utilize rail transport to augment its distribution network in the UAE.A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, Acting CEO of Etihad Rail, and Naser Bustami, General Manager of Stevin Rock. Under the terms of the partnership, Stevin Rock will be using the 1,200km UAE rail network to distribute bulk commodities from its three quarries located in Kadra (Shawkah), Al Ghail and Khor Khuwair to Etihad Rail distribution terminals across the country.By 2020, rail will facilitate Stevin Rock in transporting an annual volume of more than 22 million tons of mined products and materials to real estate developers and construction companies in the UAE and GCC..

Arabian Tunnelling Conference opens in Abu Dhabi

10/12/2014 (Trade Arabia): The second edition of Arabian Tunnelling Conference (ATC) and Exhibition, featuring government and private entities related to tunnelling industry from across the globe, is currently under way in Abu Dhabi, UAE.The three-day event, organised by the Society of Engineers – UAE and in partnership with International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association, was inaugurated by Essa Al Maidoor, director general of Dubai Health Authority and president of Society of Engineers – UAE, concludes today (December 10) at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).Al Maidoor said: “Etihad Rail, formerly known as Union Railway, was established to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. The 1,200-km railway network will be built in three stages to link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, as well as to form a vital part of the wider GCC railway network that will connect the UAE with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.”

Kyrgyzstan President seeks UAE investments

08/12/2014 (Emirate 24/7 - UAE): Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has invited UAE businessmen to invest in his country’s promising sectors mainly mining, power and hotels.Addressing Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry members, Atambaev highlighted the investment opportunities in his country, especially in the areas of mining of gold and aluminium as well as infrastructure including the building of power stations and hydropower substations, resorts and tourist hotels.During the interactive session with UAE businessmen, Atambaev spoke about the investment potential in infrastructural projects including airports and transportation services, especially the building of a railway line linking the southern and central Asian countries with China. He urged UAE companies to engage in these investments which he said are key to the economic growth of Central Asia.

New Silk Road, from Kazakhstan to UAE

03/12/2014 (The Astana Times - Kazakhstan): Some 43 countries in the world are landlocked: 15 in Africa, 14 in Europe, 12 in Asia and two in South America. This list contains all the countries of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.However, some landlocked countries do not suffer from their inconvenient geographic locations. For example, landlocked Switzerland is among the top 10 countries of the world in terms of economic competitiveness. Austria, also cut off from the open sea, has very high levels of economic development and public welfare in comparison with its coastal neighbours.Another example is Kazakhstan, the largest landlocked country in the world, which is bordered by two inland seas: the Caspian and Aral Seas.For Kazakhstan, being landlocked is not an obstacle to its economic development, since its location in the centre of the Eurasian continent predetermines its geopolitical role as a bridge between Europe and A

High-speed train route between Istanbul to Konya opens

18/12/2014 (Sabah - Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu launched the high-speed train line connecting the central Turkish province of Konya to Istanbul yesterday in a ceremony.The new line decreases travel time between the two cities to slightly above four hours, from 13 hours by a conventional train, and about 10 hours by bus.Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Erdoğan said this marked "a reunion" between the two cities. "We connect Konya, the ancient capital of the Seljuks with Istanbul, ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire today, after having Ankara and Istanbul connected in July," he said. Erdoğan stated that the travel time between two cities will be reduced to below four hours soon.

Turkey seeks to launch Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route by late 2015

22/12/2014 (Azernews - Azerbaijan): Tiblisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia that will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. A post is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.Turkish Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Lutfi Elvan said Turkey wants to launch Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail route by late 2015, Anadolu reported.The route will link Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s decree 'On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities' dated February 21, 2007.A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tb