Rail dreams to become reality

Manama : Urban train travel will no longer remain a pipedream for Bahrainis. The country will build a 109-kilometre rail transit system by 2024, in five phases, according to a senior government official. “The preliminary designs for the nation-wide rail network will be ready within the next few months,” said Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication Land Transportation and Post Under-Secretary Mariam Jumaan.

However, the network would only become operational in 2023 or 2024, she said, adding that it will be launched in five phases. She was speaking during an event organized as part of 2018 BIPEX Forums at the Capital Club.  “Our new and improved bus network was the first phase of our strategic vision of the public transportation. But we need to improve on that further, this is why the Ministry has started looking into alternatives,” said Mariam.

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“We do not want just buses, we need a proper mass transit for Bahrain. With buses, there are certain limitations and it can still contribute to congestion. The way to encourage people to move away from using their cars and provide them with a way to get places quicker and easier would be bringing on this new mode of transport,” she said. “We have done our studies, we have looked at possible alternatives. Our choice is the light rail system which will be implemented in four or five phases. The first phase will be 30 kilometres with 20 stations,” she said. “The connections will be to the airport, diplomatic area, to the north, to the city centre and more. What we are looking to have is a true alternative to the cars. The rail transport will make people actually leave their cars and use the public transport instead,” she said.

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“We hope to have the preliminary designs completed by the second or third quarter of this year. This is a very viable project for the private sector to participate in,” she added.

Source Credit: DT News

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