The tender is the first construction contract on any of the five rail networks Doha is planning to build over the next 10 years. UK-based Mace International is the project manager for the scheme, which is known as the Passenger Rail Station Box.

The project involves building a railway station terminal for an express airport rail line that will connect to rail and metro stations in downtown Doha and other rail networks. Sources familiar with the project say the steering committee wants to finish the station in time for the opening of the first two phases of the new airport in 2011 (MEED 28:8:09).

Doha plans to build several rail lines and other public transport networks over the next decade. The Trade & Business Ministry will invite consultants to submit in 2010 proposals for a national railway system. Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, in partnership with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, has already developed a conceptual design for a national railway system in Qatar.

The companies’ multi-billion-dollar concept design has five components including: an east coast rail link between Ras Laffan and Mesaieed; a high-speed link from Doha to Bahrain across the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway; a freight link connecting into the planned GCC rail network; a Doha metro network; and a light rail network serving residential developments.