Germany and Qatar have agreed to study the technological and economic possibility of building a high speed electromagnetic levitation (maglev), rail line in the Gulf, they said after a visit by the Qatari prime minister to Berlin. "The two parties have said they support an examination of the feasibility of a use of Transrapid (maglev) technology in
Qatar," a statement by German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah ben Khalifa al-Thani said. The modernization of Qatar's transport system and the development of the gas industry in the Gulf sheikhdom offer "excellent possibilites for projects looking to the future," the statement said. The Transrapid, one of Germany's hi-tech jewels, has suffered a series of setbacks at home where several projects have been scrapped. The product of cooperation between the Thyssen-Krupp and Siemens companies, it only operates on one experimental line, near Bremen in the north. Abroad it links Shanghai airport with the city center and it is reported that Britain is interested in an 800 kilometer (500 mile) line linking the north and south of the country. There is said to be interest in Los Angeles in California. The Qatar study could lead eventually to an 800 kilometers line through the United Arab Emirates. When in the region in March 7 Schröder invited his hosts to take a look at the train.