State-owned Qatari Diar has invited companies to submit prequalification documents by 8 March for the project management consultancy contract for an automated people mover in West Bay.

The people mover project has a budget of about QR8bn ($2.2bn). The automated people mover will connect the Doha Convention Centre & Tower to major points in the West Bay area. The first phase will transport 5,900 passengers an hour in each direction with 10 stations and about 42 cars.

The project is a part of Qatar’s $25bn plans to develop an integrated railway network. The rail network includes the Doha metro, a freight rail line, a high-speed passenger line, as well as other automated people movers in Lusail City and Education City.

The freight and passenger rail network will run for 651 kilometres when complete with 98 stations.

The high-speed passenger line will be operated at 220 kilometres an hour. It will run from New Doha International airport, through Doha city and on to north-west of the peninsula to Ras Ashairij. This is where the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway will start. The causeway has been on hold since June 2010. While no official timeline has been announced when construction will start, the causeway remains part of Qatar’s long-term infrastructure plan.

The high-speed line will mean people can travel from the airport to the causeway in 51 minutes.

The 340km freight railway will run from Ras Laffan in the north-east of Qatar to the New Doha port at Mesaieed in the south-east. The railway will also now involve building a spur that will run to the gas processing facilities in Dukhan in the west. When complete, the freight railway will transport 11 million tonnes of cargo a year.

The freight and passenger lines will form part of the GCC railway. Doha will have four long-distance stations for these lines that will also be integrated with the Doha metro.

The 300km Doha metro will consist of four lines, Red, Gold, Green and Blue. There will be 80 stations. The Red line is the first line to be developed and this will run from New Doha International airport (NDIA) to West Bay in central Doha.

Contractors are still waiting to be prequalified for the consultancy services contract for the Red line (MEED 9:2:11).

The Gold line will run on an east-west route linking NDIA and the airport city with the industrial areas in the west of the city. The Green line will run from the industrial areas in the south through the centre of Doha and on to Education city. The Blue line will follow the coast road, running from the NDIA to West Bay, The Pearl and Lusail with a spur linking up to Education City.

Qatar Holding bought a 9.1 per cent stake in Germany’s Hochtief in December 2010. In April 2010, Hochtief also founded a joint venture with Lusail Real Estate Development Company, a subsidiary of Qatari Diar, to develop Lusail City.

Hochtief will also oversee the development of a light-rail transit (LRT) system in Lusail City, which will host the Fifa World Cup in 2022. Lusail City is a 36-square-kilometre development that is expected to house 250,000 people when it is complete.