Completion of Arab Railway Network Study
The Arab Railway Network Study, which the Arab Fund financed and supervised, has recently been completed. The study aimed at providing a complete strategic vision for integrating the Arab railway networks, in order to foster interconnections between the various countries in the region, and implement regional co-operation between them, along with facilitating the flow of trade and tourism among the Arab countries.
The decision to perform the study was made by the Arab Developmental, Economic and Social Summit, held in Kuwait in January 2009. The Arab Fund, in November 2010, signed a contract with the Consortium Italferr-Dar El Omran to conduct the study. The final study report was presented by the Consortium during a workshop held in Kuwait during October 2012. The workshop was attended by representatives of the Arab Fund, the League of Arab States (Economic Sector) and the member states.
The study finalized the selection of the main axes of the Arab Core Railway Network (ACRN), predicted the future growth in passenger and cargo railway traffic, and determined the basic infrastructure needs in order to construct the ACRN.
The study selected the best alternatives for implementing regional interconnections when more than one was available, and recommended a procedure for prioritizing the sequence of execution of the projects.
The study estimated that the Arab countries need to invest around $ 90 billion to add around 20 thousand km of railway links in order to accomplish integration between their railway networks. It recommended that the works be implemented in three phases, having similar costs and containing almost the same lengths of links.