Eleven MENA region countries are investing a total of $490bn in new railway networks, as well as upgrading existing networks, according to a report published by Timetrec’s Construction Intelligence Centre. Along with the major railway projects in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman there are some surprises. For instance, Iraq is investing USD $70bn in its new railway network, and Nigeria investing $59bn in the High Speed West Coast Railway. Qatar is investing $43bn in its own integrated railway network as part of its Qatar National Vision 2020. Some of the largest railway investment is going into some of the largest countries, with Saudi Arabia building the El Haramein Railway and the Saudi Land Bridge, both of which will be several hundreds of kilometres long. Between the six nations of the GCC, over £120bn is being invested in a regional railway network linking the Iraqi border in Kuwait with the Yemeni border in Oman. Such investment is set to help emerging economies diversify their economies and drive development in the MENA region. Core to a thriving economy is a strong national infrastructure.