A number of Saudi, Turkish, American and Italian companies have shown interest in the $ 4.5 billion Saudi-Bahrain railway project, according to GCC sources.
The project provides vital link to the 2,200 km GGC railway scheme, which is expected to cost $ 15.5 billion. The sources said a number of Saudi and Bahraini companies would form consortiums with international firms to bid for the project,
A meeting will be held next week at the GCC secretariat in Riyadh to discuss ways of financing the project, the sources said.
The meeting will also discuss modalities — whether the project would be financed by the two governments or to be executed by companies as a BOT venture.
The 90-km rail link will be built parallel to the Saudi-Bahrain Causeway.
The GCC rail link will start in Kuwait and pass by Dammam, connecting with Bahrain through a bridge before reaching Qatar via Salwa.
Another line will connect Bahrain with the UAE through Bathaa.
The railway line will also run through Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to reach Oman through Sahar and Muscat and connect Qatar and Bahrain through a bridge. Land acquisition has been estimated to cost $ 3.1 billion and the cost of purchasing locomotives is pegged at $1.8 billion.