Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) has awarded a joint venture of US-based Hill International, Italy’s Italferr and the local Astad Engineering Consultancy & Project Management Company the contract to provide project management consultancy services for the Lusail Light Rail Transit system.

Hill, which has a 50 per cent share of the joint venture, says the estimated value of the contract is QR151.6m ($41.6m).

MEED reported that firms were competing for the project management deal in July 2015.

The 38.5km tram system will have four lines, 25 stations at-grade and seven underground stations.

The system is expected to enter commercial service in stages from 2018 as the transport backbone of the Lusail development 23 km north of Doha that is expected to eventually be home to 260,000 people.

A consortium of the local/French QDVC and France’s Alstom was awarded a $2.7bn contract for the design and build of the second phase of the scheme in 2014.

That contract comprises construction of 25 stations and a depot, architectural and electro-mechanical works packages, the supply of 35 trains equipped with catenary-free technology, track-laying and energy supply.

QDVC has awarded France’s Thales a contract to supply and maintain the supervision, telecoms, security and automatic fare collection systems for the future 32 km network, including contactless ticketing.

The LRT scheme is part of Qatar Rail’s national development programme, along with the Doha Metro and the proposed long-distance passenger and freight network.