News » UAE railway issues tenders for Western Region network

UAE railway issues tenders for Western Region network

Monday 7th March 2011

More than 20 pre-qualified consortia chosen for civil and track work


Union Railway expects to start construction on an $11bn railway across the emirates in the middle of this year, after it issued tenders for the section of the railway that runs through the western region of Abu Dhabi emirate, it said yesterday. 


Union Railway issued tenders for the rolling stock of the Western Region railway last month, it said in an emailed statement. It also issued on March 1 a tender to more than 20 pre-qualified consortia to design, procure, build, test, and commission that part of the railway project. 


The first phase of the 1,500km railway is a 270km freight rail line linking Abu Dhabi’s Shah sour gas field to Ruwais on the Persian Gulf coast, to transport granulated sulphur for export.


The rail operator’s first project will carry granulated sulphur from Habshan to Ruwais for export from state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (Adnoc) Shah gas field in 2013. 


Gulf states are spending more than $100bn on rail projects across the region as they tackle poor public transports networks and growing populations. The six members of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) seek to create a similar model to Europe’s high-speed rail system. Union Railway, the main developer and operator of the national rail network in the UAE, issued tenders to pre-qualified companies for the rolling stock of the railway in the Western Region at the end of last month.


Construction of the national rail network project is scheduled to begin in the middle of this year, following the announcement of award of the tendered contracts. A countrywide railway network in the UAE will be rolled out within the next seven to eight years, Union Railway's Chief Executive Officer Richard Bowker said last year. It is estimated that the countrywide rail network will cost between Dh25 billion and Dh30 billion. The Union Railway previously appointed Atkins as the preliminary engineering services consultant to oversee the execution of the three stages of the UAE's railway network.


The Union Railway will be 1,500km long extending across all seven emirates.


The railway will connect the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat city in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.


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