Metro project in Bahrain to take shape next year

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The Kingdom of Bahrain will launch a tender for the construction of its new light rail network in the first quarter of 2023, an official with Bahrain’s Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (MTT) told local press media in this week. The Bahrain Metro project, as the venture is called, will be implemented in four phases and will be 109 kilometers long when completed.

Numerous companies took part in the prequalification tender for phase one of the project, which ended in May. Attendees included Alstom, Hyundai Engineering, Orascom of Egypt and China Railway Group. Phase one, with a projected capacity of 43,000 passengers per day, will see the construction of two lines and 20 stations over a distance of 29 kilometers.

The winning developer will perform the work on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain, Transfer (DBFOMT) basis for a 35-year contract term. Phase one of the project is expected to cost around 2 billion euros. According to the ministry, the Bahrain Metro project aims to reduce the number of cars on the streets in order to reduce traffic density and pollution. A total of four lines are planned, called red, green, yellow and blue. Of the planned 109 kilometers of track, 30 kilometers will be elevated. Bahrain plans to use driverless trains for metro operations.

Ongoing major projects in the Middle East

The Middle East is proving to be fertile ground for the development of new railway projects. In Qatar, earlier this year Qatar Rail launched the first line of the new tram network in the city of Lusail, the city set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup later this month. The so-called Orange Line will initially stop at six stations.

The UAE Railways Program is running in the United Arab Emirates. It includes a freight project by Etihad Rail, a proposed passenger service, and third, a future light rail network. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia raised eyebrows when it said around 8,000 kilometers of new railway lines were being built in the kingdom, more than doubling its existing network.

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