Middle East and North Africa rail projects soar high in 2013

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The value of rail contracts awarded throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)Middle East and North Africa rail projects soar high in 2013 reached $434 million in the first quarter of 2013, roughly 17 percent of the total $2.55 billion awarded in the transport sector overall. The amount is expected a further increase in the second half of this year as contracts for plans to build over more than 3,000 km of monorail and tram and over 33,712 km of mainline routes.
Driven by the economic development, population growth, the increasing traffic congestion and growing urbanization led to these developments making the region one of the world’s fastest growing markets for rail projects. The MENA and Metro Summit, which will happen in October this year in Abu Dhabi will present a definitive review of the ongoing rail projects as well as those in the pipeline to provide key stakeholders invaluable sights on project delivery and operations including advanced engineering solutions and technical best practices critical to the development and execution of rail projects throughout the region.
The agenda includes a comprehensive review of rail projects in North Africa including recent contracts covering the extension of the tram system in Algiers; the selection of firms for signaling packages on Egypt’s national railway network; and the awarding of contracts in Tunisia’s railways that will connect the capital to its surrounding suburbs. In Saudi Arabia, three consortiums have so far been shortlisted by the Arriyadh Development Authority to deliver a new light-rail metro system in Riyadh’s which will by far be the most advanced out of all the current metro developments in KSA. The project will encourage other cities to ramp up efforts to build their own light -rail networks once the packages are awarded.
The Makkah Mass Rail Transit Company (MMRTC) has invited manufacturers, consultants, and rolling stock suppliers to a series of talks outlining plans for a network of metro and bus lines in Makkah. Initial plans envisaged that the connection will be 90 kilometers in length and is estimated to cost about $5 billion. Bahrain’s government is also towards planning a new railway that will help alleviate increasing congestion on the existing King Fahd Causeway linking the two countries which will be part of the $15.5 billion GCC-wide railway network.