Union Railway is inviting companies to submit prequalification documents by 28 November for the material supply packages for the first phase of the UAE’s $11bn federal railway.

A spokeswoman for Union Railway says that it received a “very good” response from contractors, who submitted expressions of interest in the material supply packages on 31 October (MEED 18:10:10).

However, she would not disclose the exact number of submissions received.

Interested companies were able to 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 award the contract in the second quarter of 2011.

Union Railway has already invited contractors to submit prequalification documents by 11 November for a package involving railway systems, integrators and systems suppliers (MEED 11:10:10).

The project will involve supplying and fitting of signalling and train control systems, communication systems, train control centre, supervisory control and data acquisition systems (Scada).

Prequalification documents were received for the rolling stock packages on 3 October and prequalification documents for the advanced works contract were received on 10 October. Union Railway has also invited companies to submit prequalification documents for the civil and track works by 14 November.

The contract to carry out studies into the impact and mitigation of dune sand was due to be awarded in July.

The first phase of the railway involves building a 265-kilometre track 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.