Marrakech-Agadir High-Speed Rail: ONCF General Director Meets Regional Officials

20/02/2017 (Marocco World News - Morocco): In the presence of Zineb El Adaoui, Wali of the Souss-Massa region and the presidents of the region’s communes, the officials put together the outline of the project. The officials also discussed the main lines of the medium and long-term development plan for the configuration of the rail network. For his part, Khlie presented the draft of the first conclusion of the construction study of the project, which was conducted with the assistance of a specialized firm. During the meeting, the officials also discussed the positioning of the railway station, the route towards Agadir, and its continuation to the rest of Morocco’s southern provinces.

High-speed rail in Africa is “unfeasible”, says Chinese expert

07/03/2017 (Global Construction Review - UK): The warning follows doubts raised by western experts over the financial viability of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) strategy, which aims to build new maritime and overland transport corridors linking China and the rest of the world. It also comes amid growing official alarm in Beijing over China’s ballooning national debt. Chinese firms should be more sophisticated in assessing risks in Africa, the expert warned, focussing not just on technical aspects but geopolitical and cultural factors as well. “No country in the world has ever built so many high-speed railways in such a short period of time and pushed for high-speed rail diplomacy as China,” writes Song Wei, researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation in the state-owned English-language newspaper Global Times on Monday, 6 March.

Egypt to invest billions in rail infrastructure

08/03/2017 (The National - UAE): Egypt’s minister of transport has said the country is targeting up to €14.4billion (Dh55.85bn) worth of investment in new rail and metro projects. Speaking at Middle East Rail conference on Tuesday, Hesham Arafat said the bulk of the investment being sought is for three high-speed rail lines running from Luxor to Cairo, Alexandria to Cairo and from Luxor to Hurghada, which will have a combined cost of €13bn."These three lines are proposed for promoting tourist activity that is expected to reach more than 30 million tourists per year by 2025," Mr Arafat said The biggest of these is the Cairo to Luxor line – a €6bn, 700-kilometre line that will take about five years to build. Mr Arafat said studies indicate investors would earn an internal rate of return of about 9 per cent on the project, which is expected to carry about 3.4 million passengers per year...

Saudi Arabia readies design for 950-km railway project

11/03/2017 (Gulf News - Bahrain): Saudi Arabia has completed the detailed design

of its 950-km Land Bridge railway project which will link the country's major cities

Jeddah and Riyadh, said a report.

To be developed on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) scheme, the Saudi Land

Bridge project will transform the existing rail network in the kingdom into a world-

class freight and passenger rail link across the country. It will have the capability to

move large quantities of cargo over long distances at competitive rates and will offer

safe and comfortable overland passenger transport.The railway will connect the port

cities of Jeddah, Dammam and Jubail and will pass through the capital city Riyadh

and serve its dry port.

Haifa-Nazareth light rail line approved

21/02/2017 (Globes - Israel): The National Infrastructure Committee, headed by Avigdor Yitzhaki, yesterday approved National Infrastructure Plan 56 initiated by the Ministry of Transport for construction of a light rail line between Haifa and Nazareth. The plan is going to the cabinet for approval, and will then be assigned for detailed planning. According to the 2017-2018 Economic Arrangements Law, the Ministry of Transport's estimate of the project's cost is NIS 5.9 billion. The line is scheduled to begin operating in 2023.