A total of 11 international and local consultants have until 15 November to submit proposals for the two consultancy contracts, which cover the evaluation of technical offers for the main construction packages, and works supervision. Speaking on the sidelines of the Second MEED Middle East Rail Projects conference held in Dubai on 27-28 September, NAT head of central bridges department Mohammed el-Ogyizy said that the client intended to award the two contracts within two months of submission.

For the five main construction and supply contracts – the civil works, signalling, rolling stock supply, electro-mechanical, and track laying packages – 25 prequalified international and local contractors have until 1 February to submit commercial and technical bids. An award is expected by the end of the second quarter. Construction will take about four years.

The 33-kilometre line 3 will link the western districts of Cairo with the international airport. Phase 1 involves the construction of a 4.5-kilometre underground section between Abbasiya and Ataba, where an interchange will be built with line 2. It also includes four underground stations, a light repair workshop at Abbasiya, and the upgrading of the mainline track between Abbasiya and Shoubra el-Khaima. A French/local team of Systrawith Arab Consulting Engineersdrew up the initial designs (MEED 17:1:03).

Three further phases are planned to be developed over the next 10 years. Phase 2 will continue the line eastwards by 6.2 kilometres from Abbasiya to Al-Ahram in Heliopolis. Phase 3 covers the western section of line between Ataba and Imbaba in Mohandiseen, while the 11-kilometre-long phase 4 involves the last section between Al-Ahram and the airport.

Cairo is also searching for financing partners on the planned Alexandria metro scheme. ‘All the tender documents are ready, we just need to secure the funding,’ said El-Ogyizy. Studies on the 40-kilometre line – to be built in three sections – were completed in the late 1990s, but the project has been on hold pending agreement on its financing (MEED 8:12:00).