Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications­ expects to appoint a consultant for the state’s planned light rail scheme very soon.

Mariam Jumaan, undersecretary, land transportation and ports, at the minstry, says a consultant has been selected and the formal letter of appointment is expected possibly in the coming weeks. Jumaan, however, declines to name the consultant pending the signing of the deal.

T­­he tender for the consultancy contract was issued in March.

The project scope will include the network development phases, routes, specification and technology, different procurement options, budget and drafting a request for prequalification, which will set the minimum functional requirements for the first phase.

Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed told MEED in February that the study would most likely take one year, which will be followed by the procurement phase in which the private sector is likely to be involved.

The study is understood to include looking into issues such as land allocation due to the high level of congestion in the capital Manama.

The light rail network for Manama is one of three major rail schemes for Bahrain. The other two are the King Fahd Causeway rail link and the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway, which aim at improving transport links between the island and its immediate neighbours.