ABU DHABI — Union Railways, the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, said that the construction work on the first phase of 270km Shah-Habshan-Ruwais section is planned to commence in mid-2011.
At this stage, Union Railway is pre-qualifying bidders to begin the implementation of the first phase of railway network that will link Shah with Habshan.
The railway company will tender civil engineering works in March, hoping to start the construction to commence in mid-2011 following the naming of the winning company.
The scope of work of this initial phase, also known as stage zero, includes earthworks, laying down the track, building the railway bridges, installing the communications and signalling systems, as well as the construction of the depot and project offices at Mirfa. The next two phases of the project will see the establishment of a network in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the stage one, and a network in the Northern Emirates in stage two. Commenting on the tender, Union Railways 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,” he said.
Union Railways 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.
When complete, the railway will serve the whole country via a 1200km-long safe and cost-efficient rail network.