Qatar Rail has extended the deadline for the submission of proposals for consultancy services covering Qatar’s long-distance freight and high-speed passenger rail lines.

The deadline was set for 24 February and has been extended by three weeks to 17 March. The tender for the project management contract (PMC) is expected to be released in the next few months.

The request for proposal (RFP) was issued on 25 December, with tender clarifications due by 24 January and proposals originally due in towards the end of February.

The RFP covers consultancy services, including detailed design, civil infrastructure and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works.

As of mid-February, as least 25 consultants had expressed interest in the consultancy contract for the detailed design of the railway line, according to Saad al-Muhannadi, chief executive officer at Qatar Railways Company, speaking at a rail conference in Dubai.

Early plans for the two rail lines see the project broken down into three phases. The first phase will involve a 195-kilometre freight line linking Port Mesaieed to Ras Laffan, and eventually linking into Saudi Arabia through the planned GCC-wide network.

Phase two involves the construction of the 150km high-speed connection linking into Bahrain. Phase three will see the construction of 165km passenger and freight national network linking Dukhan to Al-Shamal and Doha City.