SNTF expects to make an award in the fourth quarter and work is scheduled to begin in early 2004. The selected group will replace existing narrow track with modern, standard track and construct five stations, 20 steel bridges and two maintenance workshops. The next major rail project planned is the 150-kilometre extension of the Mecheria-Bechar line to Redjem Demouche in the north, set to be tendered in 2004.