A feasibility study conducted in 2009 suggested a new 90km railway from Dammam in Saudi Arabia to Bahrain would cost between $4.2 billion and $4.5 billion. Private sector companies in Bahrain are currently in talks with the government about the proposal. Among possibilities being looked at is the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) option, with the private sector forming a consortium.
The railway would start in Kuwait and pass through Dammam, connecting with Bahrain by means of a bridge parallel to King Fahad Causeway, then continue to Qatar via Salwa.
The line would run through Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to reach Oman through Sahar and Muscat and connect Qatar and Bahrain by bridge. It would form part of a $US25 billion railway project to link Bahrain and the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries with a 2,117km network.
Another line is envisaged to connect Bahrain with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through Bathaa.
Land acquisition has been estimated to cost $3.1 billion and the cost of purchasing locomotives, capable of speeds up to 350km/h, $1.8 billion.