The scheme has been under precurement for two years, with prequalification documents released in March 2014.
The company prequalified 15 consortiums in August 2015 to bid for the long-distance rail design and build contract, and was previously aiming to release the tender in the first quarter of 2016.
The prequalified firms, which comprise mostly joint ventures formed between international and local contracting companies, include:
- Acciona Infrastructuras (Spain) / Consolidated Contractors Group (CCC; Athens-based) / Tecnimont (Italy) / Teyseer Contracting Company (local)
- Al-Habtoor Leighton Group (Australia/UAE) / Dragados (Spain) / Al-Jaber Trading & Contracting (local)
- Archirodon (Greece) / China Communications Construction Company (China) / Contraco (local)
- Astaldi (Italy) / Al-Jaber Engineering (local) / Samsung C&T Corporation (South Korea)
- China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation (China) / China Railway 11 Bureau Group Corporation (China) / China Railway Engineering Consulting Group (China) / MAN Enterprise (local)
- Daewoo Engineering & Construction (South Korea) / Rizzani de Eccher (Italy) / Redco International Trading & Contracting (local)
- Eiffage (France) / Six Construct (Belgium) / Midmac Contracting (local)
- FCC Construccion (Spain) / Qatar Building Company (local) / Yuksel Insaat (Turkey)
- Ferrovial Agroman (Spain) / Hyundai Engineering & Construction (South Korea) / Al-Jaber and Partners Construction & Energy Projects (local)
- Grupo Isolux Corsan (Spain) / Cooperative Muratori & Cementisti (Italy) / C M C di Ravenna Societa Cooperativa (Italy) / Construction Development Company (local)
- Itinera (Italy) / China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (China) / Saipem (Italy) / International Trading and Contracting Company (local)
- Porr Bau (Austria) / HBK Contracting (local) / China Railway Construction Corporation(China)
- QD-SBG Group (local) / Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi (Turkey)
- Salini Impregilo (Italy) / SK Engineering & Construction (South Korea)/Galfar al-Misnad Engineering & Contracting (local)
- Sinohydro Corporation (China) / JHJ International Trading & Contracting (China)
The 406km-railway will provide links between all of the major industrial areas of the country, including Ras Laffan Industrial City in the north, the port at Mesaieed in the south, and a spur to gas-processing facilities at Dukhan in the west. It will also form part of the GCC Railway network, with a link to Saudi Arabia near Abu Samrah, and a link to Bahrain over a planned causeway.
Phase one of the project involves building a 146-kilometre-long rail line from the border with Saudi Arabia to Mesaieed and the New Doha Port project on the east coast of the peninsula, as well as an inland station known as Doha West International, which will connect to the Doha Metro.