Al Subaie was speaking at the first UIC conference on railway interoperability, standardisation, and harmonisation for the Middle East in Doha on March 30, hosted by Qatar Rail.

"Qatar's long-distance passenger and freight rail transport system will be developed in four distinct phases," Al Subaie told delegates. "It will cover a distance of 350km at a speed of 220 to 350km/h for passenger trains, and nearing 120km/h for freight trains.

"Phase one, which begins this year, includes the construction of nearly 143km of operational railway track with 35 turnouts, one station, three freight yards, one intermodal yard, 26 bridges and 59 culverts. Once the fourth and final phase is completed in 2030, this network will include lines to the GCC countries, the new port, and Hamad International Airport in Qatar."