Saudi Arabia’s Development Commission of Mecca and Mashaaer has invited local and international contractors to prequalify for rail systems works on phase one of Mecca’s new metro.

The scope of work for the project includes track work, signalling, systems (including traction power), telecommunication, stations and building fitting out. The contract also covers mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works, and overall system integration.

The deadline for submitting prequalification documents is 26 May. 

The metro is being built to meet the anticipated growth in religious tourists visiting the holy city during the Muslim pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah in the coming years.

It is just one element of a wider SR60bn ($16.5bn) transport programme for Mecca known as the Mecca Public Transport Programme (MPTP), which also includes a bus network.

The first phase of the project will cover the partial construction of lines B and C. Line B is 12 kilometres in length with seven stations and will be mostly underground.

Line C covers 22km of track with 15 stations, and the depot civil works.

The long-term plan is to build a total of four rail lines covering more than 180km of track and 88 stations. Phase 2 will cover the construction of a 27.7km Line A, while Phase 3 will cover the construction of a 34.1km line D and a 5.5km extension to Line C.

In November 2013, contractors were invited to prequalify for phase one of the construction of the civil works for the metro. In July, US firm Parsons Brinckerhoff was awarded the $93.6m project management contract for the MPTP.

The metro’s feasibility study was prepared by a joint venture of France’s Systra and the US-based Aecom. The firms were appointed as consultants in April 2012.

In January, companies were invited to prequalify for contracts covering the operation and maintenance of an urban bus transit system as part of the MPTP.