Qatar to invite first RFPs for railway system

$42.9bn metro system to be built in four phases, with phase 1A scheduled for opening in 2019

Qatar’s Railway Development Company said on Tuesday that it would invite the first Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the underground work of the Qatar Rail Network project from June of this year.

An official for the company, who did not wish to be named, told Zawya that although this was a slight delay from the expected date of tendering in April 2012, more than 70 companies had already expressed their interest in bidding for various parts of the metro project, of which 35 have pre-qualified.

He added that any company intending to participate in the bidding process would require a local partner.

The $42.9bn metro system will be built in four phases. Phase 1A aims to be ready by 2019, the official said. This would involve 52 kilometres of track and 26 stations, he explained. Most of the track would be laid underground except for the suburban districts.

Qatar is aiming to complete the first phase of the railway in time for the 2020 Olympics, in the event it wins the right to host the event. The country has already been on an accelerated development program to complete the metro project, along with other necessary infrastructure, in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The project aims to link up Qatar’s various planned railways into a ‘comprehensive and consolidated’ national railway system. This is part of the government’s plan to connect Qatar to the rest of the GCC, the Zawya report added.

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