By Neeraj Gangal
One-way journey time between Education City and Bahrain to be just 51 minutes - paper.
A high-speed railway link is being planned between Doha and Bahrain, in a bid to boost enrolment at the educational institutions in the Qatari capital.
According to The Peninsula daily, the one-way journey time between Doha’s Education City and the kingdom of Bahrain would be just 51 minutes.
The idea is to woo Bahraini students to enrol at the various prestigious foreign universities and educational institutions in Education City, the daily added.
The move is part of a QR133bn ($42.9bn) railway project that Qatar is about to launch, which includes a metro network within Greater Doha, an inter-GCC rail link and a rail freight network.
The Peninsula said that details of the plans were revealed on Wednesday to representatives of the international media who are covering the visit of the FIFA inspection team that is examining Qatar’s bid to host the football World Cup in 2022.
According to the daily, Sultan Bakhit Al Enazi, Qatar Railway Project Manager said that the rail link is expected to be ready for operation by 2017
“It would take 51 minutes straight between Education City and Bahrain once the rail link is ready,” he said.
The trains on this route would be travelling at a speed of 350 kilometres an hour, Al Enazi added.
The wider integrated system includes the Doha Metro Network; an east coast rail link; a high-speed link between the new Doha International Airport, Doha City Centre and Bahrain via the planned Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge; a freight rail link based on the GCC rail link studies; and light rail systems within specific developments including Qatari Diar’s Lusail mega-project.
Work on the metro and other rail projects is slated to start by the middle of next year whether or not Qatar wins the WorldCup bid, The Peninsula said.
The projects will be 90 percent complete by 2021 if Qatar wins the bid. If not, the deadline for completion will be 2026, it added.
In the future, Qatar will be linked by railway to the Saudi border and trains on this route will be travelling at a speed of 220km per hour, according to The Peninsula.
The so-called "planned Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge" seems to be happenning only on paper so far. After the contracts were signed and before the ink could dry, Qatar and Bahrain went back to their periodic spats, that resulted in everything being put on hold. It is easy to publish this type of gobbledegook in the newspapers to pull wool over the eyes of the FIFA bid evaluation team. Once the team disappears, so will all the talk about the Qatar-Bahrain link.