Etihad Rail is due to appoint a new company to carry out the independent safety assessment of the UAE’s $11bn federal railway.

In November 2010, Etihad Rail appointed Germany’s TUV Rheinland Intertraffic as independent safety assessor for the project (MEED 9:11:10).

While TUV has completed the first stage of work, Etihad Rail says another firm will now be chosen to complete the project.

“TUV has completed the first stage of the work. For the second stage, we are in the process of selecting a new company,” says a spokeswoman for Etihad Rail.

On 1 June, Etihad Rail received 12 bids for the civil engineering contract for the first phase of the railway. The civil engineering deal covers civil structures, systems, facilities and track work.

A US-based group of Aecom with Parsons International won the project management consultancy contract for the first phase of the railway project in April. Under a separate contract, the UK’s Atkins will carry out preliminary engineering for the entire UAE railway.

The first phase of the network involves building a 265-kilometre track between the port of Ruwais and gas fields at Shah and Habshan. The initial work will involve building the line from Ruwais to Habshan, which will be able to transport 10,000 tonnes a day (t/d) of granulated sulphur. This will increase to 20,000 t/d when the line is completed to Shah.