Saudi’s Shoura Council Seeks Probe Into Haramain Rail Project Delays
04/06/2014 (Gulf Business - UAE): Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council has asked the national anti-corruption commission (Nazaha) to investigate the delay in the completion of the Haramain Railway project. The Haramain high-speed link, which will link the holy cities of Makkah and Medina, has seen a number of construction delays, which have pushed back its launch date to 2016 from 2012. The project has also seen cost revisions from $12 billion to $14 billion, according to an earlier report by Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO). “The Nazaha should also investigate the budget allocated to the Haramain Railway project and the reasons for the increase in the funds needed for the completion of the project,” the Shoura Council said in a meeting held to discuss the annual report of the SRO, Arab News reported.
Etihad Rail racks up 10m injury-free hours
Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway to be launched in 2014
06/06/2014 (AzerNews - Azerbaijan): Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway will be put into operation this year. The remark was made Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Turkey. Turkmen and Kazakh presidents met as part of the Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS), held in Turkey's Bodrum city on June 5. During the talks the Turkmen president invited his Kazakh counterpart to take part in the solemn ceremony of opening of this strategic railway, which is an essential part of the North-South transport corridor, with a global significance. The sides also noted the new railway will provide a convenient and economical transportation of goods to South Asia, to the Gulf ports, as well as in the opposite direction - to the Eastern Europe through Russia, Turkmen media reported.
Qatar committed to schedule of GCC railway network - Min.
02/06/2014 (KUNA - Kuwait): DOHA, June 2 (KUNA) -- Qatari Minister of Transport Jassem Al-Sulaiti on Monday reaffirmed his country's commitment to the schedule of the implementation of the GCC railway network, due to go operational by 2018. "The developers of this mega project in the GCC member states are working closely together to lay out the designs of project; this process is well underway and will complete this year," the minister told reporters. Al-Sulaiti made the comments on the sidelines of the IATA's 70th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit, being hosted by Qatar Airways (QA). "Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have already made good progress, compared with other GCC countries, in the development of technical and feasibility studies and offering them to bidders," he pointed out. "The meeting of the GCC ministers of transport and communication in Bahrain two months ago was a step forward towards the implementation of the project," he recalled, noting that undersecretary of the Bahraini Ministry of Transportation will be visiting Doha on Thursday for technical talks on the project.
India's Opportunity in Iran Port
03/06/2014 (The New India Express - India): As the Modi government defines its foreign policy priorities, one of the issues that needs urgent attention is the finalisation of India’s investment in the development of Chabahar Port in Iran. This is particularly important because the window of opportunity available to India to have a presence in Chabahar may be closing rapidly. India and Iran had agreed to cooperate on the development of this Iranian port way back in 2003 when Iran’s president Mohammad Khatami had visited India but nothing much has been achieved in these 11 years. It appears the previous government was close to approving US $100 million investment in the development of the port but could not take the decision. The new government could pick up the threads and quickly seal the deal. The strategic importance of Chabahar Port for India cannot be overstated. Located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran on the Makram coast and just outside the Persian Gulf, Chabahar is a natural gateway for India to Afghanistan and Central Asia. In the last 10 years, the Iranians have invested considerable sums of money in the development of Chabahar city. A 600km-long highway linking Chabahar to Zahidan in the north is operational.
Iran, Russia Vow to Accelerate Implementation of Joint Railway Projects
Railway investment program proposed to Azerbaijan
06/06/2014 (ABC - Azerbaijan): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) informs hat it keeps in force its proposal of technical assistance for the preparation of Multi-Financing Facility (MFF) Preparing MFF Railway Investment Program. "The Bank is ready to award a $1 million grant for MFF preparation," the ADB said. CJSC Azerbaijani Railways (ADY) remains an attractive partner for ADB. Thus, in the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which is being prepared for Azerbaijan and will cover the period of 2018-19, cooperation in the development of the railway system in the country remains a priority. The Strategy has not been adopted, but back in 2010 the government refused from the use of Bank’s finances under the formal pretext of lack of investment project. Then ADB planned to approve the first tranche in the amount of $200 million with overall Preparing the Railways Sector Development Program MFF loan in the amount of $500 million. The Bank-drawn consultants fulfilled successfully the first stage of technical assistance by 13 April 2010. The second stage of works on technical assistance (feasibility study and preliminary designing of first tranche of MFF) was never started.
Russia to extend Trans-Eurasian rail project to Korea
06/06/2014 (RT - Russia): Russia will team up with North and South Korea in a railroad construction project that could restore peace between the two neighbors. The link will extend the world’s longest railroad, so goods can be shipped between Europe and Korea 3x faster. Russia’s Minister for Far East Development Aleksander Galushka announced the plan to extend the Trans-Siberian Railroad at a meeting in Vladivostok on Thursday. The expansion would provide a link between the Korean peninsula and Europe’s $17 trillion economy, making Russia a major transit route between Europe and Asia. Shipping by rail is nearly 3 times faster than via the Suez Canal, Russian Railways CEO Vladimir Bakunin has said.
China Focus: Xinjiang braces for first high-speed railway
04/06/2014 (Global Post - USA): URUMQI, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The trial run for the first high-speed railway in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region started on Tuesday, marking a countdown to formal operations by the end of the year and a confidence boost to the region. A CRH2-061C high-speed train ran through the 300-km Urumqi-Shanshan section at speeds of 160 km to 277 km per hour. The designed speed is 250 km per hour, but the train must slow down when passing through windy areas. The train is part of the Second Double-track Line of the Lanxin Railway, which links Lanzhou City in northwestern Gansu Province and Urumqi. The 1,776-km line crosses a vast expanse of the Gobi Desert and windy areas -- a major technical feat -- and will be Xinjiang's first high-speed railway when it begins operation by the end of 2014. With the new railway, travel time between Lanzhou and Urumqi will be cut from the current 21 hours to 8 hours or less.
Railways signs MoU with Chinese company
06/06/2014 (The Nation - Pakistan): ISLAMABAD -
Ministry of Railways on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with leading state-owned Chinese company, China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC). The agreement was signed between
RAILCOP, a subsidiary company of Pakistan Railways and the CGGC which is a subsidiary company of China Energy Engineering Corporation.
The MoU demanded RAILCOP to work as local partner of Chinese company in Pakistan to identify potential construction projects and relevant information. As per agreement RAILCOP would also ensure complete cooperation in provision of engineers and supporting staff under the clause of human resource cooperation. It is pertinent to mention here that presently, the CGGC company is working on 1.5 billion US dollars Neelum - Jhelum Hydro Project. Recently, the company has also submitted expression of interest for National Highways Authority’s Lahore - Karachi motorway project.