New blueprints for the long-awaited, multi-billion dollar railway project to link Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are nearing completion, Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News reports. But before any more progress is made, officials in Doha and Manama must approve the new plan, the newspaper said.
Construction on the causeway, which would cut travel time between Bahrain and Qatar from around five hours to 30 minutes, was originally supposed to start in 2010. The project was later pushed back to 2014, and slated to become operational by 2017, but got shelved after costs turned out to be much higher than originally estimated.
In December, Bahrain’s foreign minister said it will likely not be operational until right before the 2022 World Cup.
This will be the third redesign of the project – another iteration by French construction company Vinci SA – and the next step will be to submit them to the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway Foundation headquarters in Doha, board member Raed Al Salah told the newspaper:
“The designs are in semifinal stages where 70 percent of them are complete,” said Mr Al Salah, who is also the Works Ministry roads projects and maintenance director.
“They include the plan to have a railway connecting GCC states… From a design perspective, we are awaiting directives to approve and implement the plans.”
Credit: Photo courtesy of Trade Arabia