Manama: A high-speed rail link is being planned between Qatar's Education City and Bahrain that would make a one-way journey possible in just 51 minutes.
The idea is to woo Bahraini students to enrol at the various prestigious foreign universities and educational institutions in Education City in Doha.
The link is part of an ambitious $42.9 billion (Dh157.8 billion) railway project to be launched by Qatar and which includes a metro network within Greater Doha, an inter-GCC rail link and a rail freight network, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Thursday.
Details of the plans were revealed to representatives of the international media who are covering the visit of the FIFA inspection team examining Qatar’s bid to host the football World Cup in 2022.
The Education City-Bahrain rail link is expected to be ready for operation by 2017, Sultan Bakhit Al Enezi, Qatar Railway Project Manager, said.
"It would take 51 minutes to move straight between Education City and Bahrain once the rail link is ready," he said. "Trains on this route will be travelling at a speed of 350 kilometres an hour."
The Greater Doha Metro network will link Education City with various places in and around Doha to allow people other than students who want to travel to Bahrain and back to use the high-speed train service.
Work on the metro and other rail projects is slated to start by the middle of next year regardless of whether Qatar wins the World Cup bid, the paper said.
The projects will be 90 per cent complete by 2021 if Qatar wins the bid. Otherwise, the deadline for completion will be 2026.
Similarly, as part of the metro rail network, Qatar will be linked to the Saudi border and trains on this route will be travelling at a speed of 220km per hour.
The metro rail network crisscrossing Greater Doha will feature 108 stations.