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Posted On: 22 November 2009 11:51 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

$25bn railway deal sealed

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Qatar is signed a deal worth a whopping $25bn for an integrated railway project with German rail and logistics giant, Deutsche Bahn (DBN.UL) tomorrow. The signing ceremony will be held at the Qatari Diar headquarters. Wire agencies reporting from Germany said quoting the online edition of a newspaper Handelsblatt, that the two sides hope to sign a deal for passenger as well as freight rail networks in Qatar. The newspaper, citing official sources, said German industrial group Siemens could be involved in the project for supplying trains and the German building industry could be roped in the construction of the rail networks. According to the newspaper, the agreement will be concluded to build a rail network in Doha, as well as a high-speed connection to the airport here, and a link to Bahrain. Deutsche Bahn is Germany’s national railway operator. “This is exemplary for Germany’s foreign trade,” Peter Ramsauer, the country’s traffic minister, was quoted as saying by the online German newspaper. The project envisages a commuter rail network in Greater Doha as well, and a rail link to Manama as part of the upcoming Doha-Manama causeway. The newspaper said plans were afoot to set up an entity known as ‘Qatar Railways Development Company’ in which Qatar would hold 51 percent stake while its German partner Deutsche Bahn would have 49 percent ownership. Late in August last year, Qatari Diar, the state-backed mega real estate operator inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Deutsche Bahn for the launch of the ambitious rail projects. The projects, according to the MoU, envisage building a passenger and freight rail link between Ras Laffan and Messaieed via Doha. Ras Laffan is the upstream hub of Qatar’s vibrant oil and gas industry, while Messaieed is the centre of downstream industry. Both boast of massive industrial cities. Moreover, a high-speed rail link is to be built connecting New Doha International Airport to Doha City center and Bahrain. A freight link is to be built based on GCC rail and Doha Expressway studies. Then, a metro network within Greater Doha and a light rail network in Lusail, Education City and West Bay are to be built. It is learnt that Manama would be linked separately from West Bay, Education City and New Doha International Airport. Within Doha, 292km of railway line would be laid, while a 325km track would link West Bay to Saudi Arabia. Trains running on these tracks could have a speed of up to 325km per hour.