The New Doha International Airport Steering Committee has invited contractors to prequalify for a contract to build a train station at the $11bn airport that is under construction close to Doha’s existing airport.

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 airport in 2011.

Doha plans to build several rail lines and other public transport networks over the next decade.

Consultants say they expect the Trade & Business Ministry will invite them to submit proposals for a national railway system in 2010. 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 conceptual design has five components. It includes 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.