March call for $11bn Union Railway tenders

First tender to cover construction of 270km Shah Habshan Ruwais link

Union Railways will begin the construction tender process on the cross-UAE rail project in March. Photo for illustration only.
Union Railways will begin the construction tender process on the cross-UAE rail project in March. Photo for illustration only.

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Union Railway, the master developer of the cross-country rail network in the UAE, is to begin the tendering process for major civil engineering contracts on the massive $11bn, 1,200 km project in March.

The company is currently pre-qualifying bidders for the first phase of the project – the 270km Shah Habshan Ruwais section of the railway project, known as Stage 0. The scope of the work includes laying down the track, building the railway bridges, installing the communications and signaling systems, as well as the construction of the depot and project offices at Mirfa.

Construction is due to start in mid-2011 after the winning bidder is announced.

The next two phases of the project include the establishment of a rail network in Abu Dhabi and Dubai (Stage 1) and Stage 2, which covers a rail network in the northern emirates.

Commenting on the tender, Union Railway CEO Richard Bowker said, "The development of an integrated and modern railway network is critical to enhancing the current freight transport system and driving economic growth in the UAE. A large number of leading international companies have expressed interest in competing in the prequalification, thereby allowing us to select the best partner to undertake the first steps in constructing the network."

Union Railway has appointed ATKINS as the Preliminary Engineering Services Consultant to oversee the execution of the three stages of the UAE's railway network, with the reselection of the Project Management Consultant soon to follow. ATKINS has already begun work on the flagship project and the preliminary design for the Shah Habshan Ruwais line is to be completed next month. On completion, the railway will serve the whole country via a 1200km-long safe and cost-efficient rail network.

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