Abu Dhabi’s Union Railway is inviting companies to submit expressions of interest by 31 October for the material supply packages of the first phase of the $11bn federal railway.

Companies can choose to supply all or part of the design-build contracts that comprises track ballast, rails, switches and crossings and precast concrete sleepers.

The ballast will require about 1.5 million tonnes of hard rock, while the rail will require about 50,000 tonnes of standard grade rail and 5,000 tonnes of heat-treated grade rail. The contract also comprises 84 switches and crossings and 650,000 precast concrete sleepers suitable for a 32.5-tonne axle load.

Union Railway expects to invite the companies to prequalify for the deal on 1 November,a with a submission deadline of 28 November. The contract is likely to be awarded in the second quarter of 2011. The same prequalified suppliers may be used for the design-build contracts for future stages of the project.

On a separate deal, Union Railway is also inviting firms to submit prequalification documents by 11 November for the systems integration contract. This involves supplying and fitting signalling and train control systems, communication systems, train control centre, supervisory control and data acquisition systems.

On 28 September, Union Railway appointed Abbott Risk Consulting and Good Harbor Consulting as the security adviser to the first phase of the project. It will now carry out safety and security risks and an independent safety assessment (MEED 28:9:10).

The first phase of the railway involves building a 265-kilometre railway between the port of Ruwais and gas fields at Shah and Habshan. The first part of the work will involve building the line from Ruwais to Habshan, which will be able to transport 10,000 t/d of granulated sulphur. This will increase to 20,000 t/d when the line is completed to Shah.