Dubai invites firms to review rail links

22 August 2008
Emirate considers expanding railway, metro and tram networks to serve new developments.

Dubai is considering building more rail routes to serve new developments in the emirate and incorporating them into the proposed inter-emirates rail link.

The Roads & Transport Authority is inviting selected consultants to bid for an integrated rail transit study for the emirate. It will involve evaluating the existing metro and tram schemes and preparing feasibility studies for future expansion.

Prospective bidders include Cansult Maunsell, part of US-based Aecom, Halcrow, Hyder Consulting, Mott MacDonald, all UK-based, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Parsons International, both US-based, and France’s Systra.

Four metro lines are either planned or already under construction in the emirate.

The first of these, the Red Line, is under construction and is scheduled for completion in September 2009. The Green Line is expected to open in October 2010.

A joint venture of Parsons International and Systra is the consultant for both lines (MEED 22:7:08).

Plans are also being drafted for a high-speed link, the Purple Line, to connect Dubai International Airport and the new Al-Maktoum Airport at Dubai World Central in the Jebel Ali area. Parsons Brinckerhoff was appointed as the consultant for this scheme in 2007.

A fourth line, the Blue Line, will also link the two airports, but will not be a high-speed connection. It will run in parallel to Emirates road and serve developments in the Dubailand area. The tender for the consultancy role on this line has yet to be tendered.

A number of tram networks are also being developed. Contracts to build a tram network serving Dubai Marina and the Al-Sufouh area were awarded earlier this year, along with another similar systems serving Emaar Properties’ Downtown Burj Dubai area. Systra is the consultant for both schemes.

Another much larger rail scheme is the inter-emirates rail link. The first phase of the scheme involves the construction of a cargo rail line between the Saudi border and Abu Dhabi city. Subsequent phases include a high-speed rail link connecting the UAE capital to Dubai.

The new rail transit study planned for Dubai will also link into the Executive Council’s urban development framework project. The 14-month study is aimed at creating a flexible planning document that will serve Dubai until 2020.

The rail transit study is expected to assess options for new railway lines that will serve the new developments outlined in this masterplan.

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