The GCC Railway will be a regional integrated interoperable railway catering to the transport needs of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The rail network will link all six Gulf States and will serve as an alternative to air and sea travel for both cargo and passengers in the region. With an overall aim to unifying the region and enhancing people connectivity and freight movement, the project is also expected to contribute significantly to the region’s economic growth, development, and prosperity and in diversifying the transport supply, reducing overall transportation costs, and providing an efficient, environmentally-sound and cost-effective transport alternative. The project will also serve in enhancing and facilitating regional trade and in promoting GCC national supporting industries in the neighbouring economies. It will also generate employment for GCC nationals as well as build and strengthen institutional capacity and skills required for sustainable railway developments.
The King Hamad Causeway Project (the Project) will connect Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kingdom of Bahrain by rail and road. The 70 km rail part will connect the proposed Bahrain passenger terminal at Salmabad and freight facilities at Khalifa bin Salman Port to the existing railway line in KSA between Dammam and Al Houfuf. The rail connection will form Bahrain’s link to the GCC railway project and wider KSA rail network.
Around 8 million passengers per annum are estimated to use the rail connection by 2050. The international passenger terminal at Salmabad will eventually be connected to the proposed Light Rail network in Bahrain. The LRT connection will link the passenger terminal to Bahrain International Airport and other prominent commercial and residential areas in Bahrain.
King Hamad Causeway Project will also include additional road capacity with the construction of a new 4 lane road causeway parallel to the existing one to prevent future capacity issues. However, The freight connection and freight facilities near the Khalifa bin Salman Port will enable the transportation of circa 600k TEUs and 13m tonnes of bulk freight. The rail connection will boost the port business and help in achieving Bahrain’s aspiration to become a major logistics hub.
The Project will be delivered in Partnership with Ministry of Transportation in KSA and King Fahad Causeway Authority and procured through a form of Public Private Partnership procurement model.
The Ministry also finalized the preparation for the tender documents for the consultancy services of the transactional advisor for King Hamad Causeway Project in cooperation with Ministry of Transport and King Fahd Causeway Authority from Kingdome of Saudi Arabia. The tender was released in November 2018 by King Fahd Causeway Authority. The advisor will be appointed in the third quarter of 2019.