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Proposed Railway Networrk To Link UAE With Other Arab Countries

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Residents of the UAE could well be able to travel by train to Damascus, Beirut, Basra and Cairo, to mention but a few cities, when an Arabian railway network becomes reality.

A proposed Arabian railway network, which will connect the UAE with the rest of the Arab world, will offer a practical alternative to short and medium-haul flights for both freight and passengers.

Murhaf Al Sabouni, General Secretary of the Syria-based Arab Railway Union, said Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah can be main line stops on the 1,860km 'third artery' of the proposed rail network between Basra and Muscat.

"The northern emirates of Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, along with Fujairah on the country's east coast, would be branch line stations," Al Sabouni said in his presentation on the General Overview of the Current and Future of Arab Rail at the Gulf Traffic 2005 exhibition in Dubai.

He said the seven UAE emirates will be connected to an ambitious Arabian railway network extending in a giant loop from the Syrian-Turkish border through Iraq and along the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts.

Dubai Metro

This will be in addition to plans of constructing Emirates Railway, the UAE's future national rail network and Dubai Metro.

The presentation was based on a study conducted by the Arab Railway Union and the Syrian General Corporation for Railways in association with the Arab Transport Ministers Council of the Arab League.

No date has been suggested for the implementation of the Arabian Railway network.

In all, the network will comprise 10 trunk lines and cover 25,000km, stretching from the Syrian-Turkish border in the north to Aden in the south-west through Arabic-speaking North Africa to Mauritania on the Atlantic coast and as far East as the Iraqi border with Iran.

In North Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania all have existing railways, which will be utilised in the network, said Al Sabouni.

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