Various Arab states are currently in the habit of investing heavily in railroad infrastructure to improve current facilities and to link remote areas.
In Iraq, the Public Enterprise for Railroads commenced test-runs of a new train, which ran at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour between Baghdad and Al-Anbar (Western Iraq). Following the analysis of results and renovations of the nation's railways, Iraq may opt to replace all of its trains with the tested type, Al-Quds Al-Arabi Daily reported. Sources in the Public Enterprise announced that they believe that Iraqi engineers can raise the speed of these locomotives to 140 kilometers per hour, making them the fastest in Iraq's history. Experts contend that the upgrade of locomotives is direly needed.
On the other "side of the tracks", the chances of implementing a Saudi $0.5 billion railway project in the Western part of the kingdom were increased yesterday. The founding committee of the railway project met to review the economic viability of a line that would connect Al-Madinah - Jeddah - Mecca - Yanbu, Al-Hayat Daily reported.
The economic feasibility of the project was strengthened recently by the Saudi Authorities' decision to change the pilgrim law and to allow more people to visit this city. The estimated number of visitors to Al-Madinah alone is expected to reach 1 million per month. According to Al-Madinah Governor, this figure makes the project a viable one. According to one member of the foundation committee, the costs of a feasibility study for the railway project totaled $4.6 million.
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