Chinese company constructs longest railway tunnel in N Africa

31/10/2017 (Ecns - China): On Monday the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited finished cutting through the Gantas railway tunnel in Algeria, a major project in the country's railway network, after six years of construction work. The tunnel is located 100 kilometers west of Algiers, capital of Algeria, and composed of two separate tubes at 7,346 meters long in one lane and 7,335 meters long in the other, each for just one track. A total length of 14.68 kilometers, it is the longest tunnel in North Africa. Geological challenges posed by the expansive rocky terrain had to be overcome during the construction of the railway tunnel, according to the CRCC...

http://www.ecns.cn/cns-wire/2017/10-31/279066.shtml

1,000 new train cars to modernize Egypt's railway system

28/10/2017 (Ahram Online - Egypt): Egypt's Minister of Transportation Hesham Arafat said at a press conference on Saturday that the ministry is planning to purchase 1,000 new train cars at a cost of EGP 16 billion to upgrade the country's old railway system. The new train carriages, which will be financed by facilitated loans, should improve services for passengers, Arafat said. The minister added, however, that a complete overhaul of the country’s railway system, which serves 104 million Egyptians but has not been updated in 50 years, would cost EGP 70 billion. The new cars will cover 1,400 kilometres of tracks. Some 300 million riders use trains annually, Arafat said...

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/280547/Business/Economy/,-new-train-cars-to-modernize-Egypts-railway-syste.aspx

Saudi Arabia unveils new rail network expansion plan

02/11/2017 (GDN - Bahrain): Saudi government has developed a comprehensive plan for expanding its rail network, which includes building a railway line between the cities of Abha and Jizan, said a report. One of the key projects unde this plan is the land bridge, which will be offered to the private sector who will build and operate it, reported Arab News, citing a senior minister. "Although projects like building a railway in the southern region require a lengthier construction period, they are part of the The Ministry of Transport’s main plan," remarked Nabil Al Amoudi. “The ministry is working on two approaches: The first includes the privatization of processes and maintenance of the current railways, and the second includes building new rails,” he added.

http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/281821/Saudi-Arabia-unveils-new-rail-network-expansion-plan

Completion of New Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Rail Line Delayed for Up to Two Years

27/10/2017 (The Algemeiner - USA): Despite reports this summer that a new high-speed rail line connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will become operational by April 2018, Israel’s state comptroller has stated that the project will not be completed on time. According to a report published on Wednesday by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, the delay is attributed to issues with converting trains from diesel-powered to running on electricity. Although the electrification of Israel’s railway system began around two decades ago, experts estimate that the electrification of the new rail lines will not be completed for up to two years...

https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/10/27/completion-of-new-tel-aviv-jerusalem-rail-line-delayed-for-up-to-two-years/

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway launched to link Europe, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Central Asia

31/10/2017 (The Times of Central Asia - Kyrgyzstan): Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey have launched a rail link connecting the three countries, establishing a freight and passenger link between Europe and China that bypasses Russia and Armenia and will also serve Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev oversaw the October 30 inauguration ceremony for the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railroad in the town of Alyat, 70 kilometers southwest of Baku. The event was also attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the prime ministers of Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.