SAR freight train in Saudi Arabia - SAR

UIC leads cooperation on rail in Gulf states

SAR freight train in Saudi Arabia – SAR

The International Union of Railways has signed an agreement with the European Union’s rail agency and industry stakeholders to ‘deepen the cooperation’ on rail development across the Persian Gulf.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed at the UIC’s Paris HQ in front of European Commission representatives, was agreed between the UIC, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC-SG), the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), and the European Agency for Railways (ERA). The aim is to improve the sharing of information and expertise across the rail sector, including the development of freight corridors.


In a joint statement, Khalifa Said Al Abri, Assistant Secretary General for Economic and Development Affairs of the GCC-SG; Phillipe Citroën, Director General of UNIFE; Josef Doppelbauer, Executive Director of ERA; and Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, said: “GCC-SG, UNIFE, ERA and UIC are delighted to further strengthen the cooperation between the parties and to share railway expertise. The six Gulf Member states constitute a priority region for UNIFE, ERA and UIC members, with considerable investments foreseen in rail.

“(The) MoU builds on a solid and well-established cooperation with the GCC-SG, which started years ago. With this agreement, our organisations will be able to work even closer and exchange on important topics such as the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).”


The UIC says the agreement is aimed at improving information sharing and developing partnership activities to help with the development of railway projects in the GCC member states of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. This includes cross-participation at events or joint organisation of events involving freight and passenger transport, international, EU and GCC standards, and the interoperability of rail networks on cross-border corridors.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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