Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC) vice-chairman Martin Bay told the MEED MENA Rail 2011 Conference in Abu Dhabi on 21 September that the final approval for the corridor that will be used by the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP) is expected by the end of 2011.

“This is a remarkable achievement,” Bay said. He said that it will clear the way for the start of the first construction work on the project.

“We expect the first civil contracts in the first quarter of 201,” Bay said.

QRDC is a joint venture between Deutshe Bahn and Qatari Diar Real Estate Company.

Qatar Rail deputy CEO Geoff Mee said yesterday that he was pleased with the number of consortiums expressing interest in the bidding for the initial nine civil contracts involved with delivering the railway project.

“We have planned the first civil contracts to be on a design-build  basis,” Bay said. “Track-laying work won’t start until the start of 2015. This project is primarily driven by civil works.”

Mee told the conference on 20 September that the aim is to deliver the first complete phase of the QIRP by 12 June 2020. The first phase includes all the key elements required by the Fifa World Cup in 2022. Bay said that the first phase calls for rail connections to at least eight of the 12 stadiums that will be used in the World Cup.