The GCC railway network project relies on each country of the GULF to develop its own internal network with however some coordination with respect to trans-border connections.  The proposed article is about the Bahrain – Saudi causeway expansion being extended to more road traffic lanes.

But what about the Bahrain – Qatar causeway ?

Meanwhile, all GCC railway network made of a straight line track starting or ending in Kuwait and ending or starting in Oman.  It has to serve also 2, as it were, tributary networks, those of Qatar and potentially of Saudi Arabia.  Both of these form some sort of loop bracketed onto the 2000 kms long main north-south track line.

The Saudi loop is all land borne network whereas that of Qatar has to partly be carried by the Bahrain to Qatar causeway.  This latter after inception and all feasibility studies duly carried out, was put on hold until further notice by the Qatar authorities back in 2014.  These to date, have shown no interest with respect to re-launching the project.

Bahrain – Saudi causeway expansion plan revealed

Bahrain News Agency  last week reported  that the King Fahd causeway that connects Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is set to undergo a major expansion to meet the growing road traffic between the neighbouring countries.  It involves an expansion that technically means widening the road girth or increasing the number of lanes from 17 to 45, representing an increase of up to 132%.

Work on the project is expected to start within six months, according to King Fahd Causeway Authority director-general Abdulrahman bin Saad Al-Yahya.

In order to reduce the waiting period for those travelling between the two countries, there will be additional access to the checkpoints. Two lanes for each entrance will lead to eight cabins, the report said. This will help facilitate the movement of traffic between the customs and passport cabins, officials said.

The number of cabins could be increased even more in the future, depending on demand, the report added. According to official figures, the 25km causeway is used by around 27,000 travellers a day and has roughly 5,000 employees working in three shifts.

The causeway, opened in 1986, is Bahrain’s only land link with a neighbouring country. Fees to use the causeway were increased by 25 per cent from January 1 this year to BD 2.5 or SAR 25 ($6.6) per vehicle. Authorities said the fee-hike was aimed at boosting financial resources required to meet new developments. published this article on The 25km-long King Fahd causeway links the Kingdom of Bahrain with the Eastern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Crossing the Gulf of Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf, the causeway starts in Saudi Arabia at Al-Aziziyyah, south of Alkhobar, and extends up to Al-Jasra, west of Manama in Bahrain. It comprises two segments, a longer bridge from Khobar to Nasan Island in Bahrain and a shorter stretch from Nasan Island to the main island of Bahrain.

The $1.2bn project was officially launched to public in 1986. On an average, it serves about 45,000 vehicles a day that increases to about 60,000 vehicles during weekends. It was used by 17.7 million passengers in 2008.

The causeway was built by Dutch contractor Ballast Nedam and financed entirely by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and King Fahd Causeway Authority (KFCA) is the operator.

A $5m expansion to the causeway was announced in July 2010. The expansion aims to increase the departure and arrival lanes on both sides of the causeway.

Qatar – Bahrain causeway project

The Qatar-Bahrain Causeway (QBC) is a 40km-long causeway connecting Qatar and Bahrain in the Middle East. After completion it will be the world’s longest fixed causeway. Connecting northern Qatar with the eastern coast of Bahrain, the link will be a natural extension to the King Fahd Causeway that connects Bahrain with Saudi Arabia.

In November 2009 it was announced that construction work on the QBC will commence in the first quarter of 2010. The project was delayed because of the decision to include an adjacent rail platform in the project. Construction of the causeway is expected to be complete by 2014 and that of the railway platform by 2015.

After completion the QBC will reduce the travel time between Qatar and Bahrain from 5h to 30mins.