UAE national rail developer Etihad rail is seeking expressions of interest from contractors to build stage two of a $11bn (£7bn) rail network that will stretch from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and across the border into Oman.
Etihad Rail chief executive officer Richard Bowker told the MEED Abu Dhabi 2011 conference that the contract should be awarded in early 2012 with construction on this stage beginning later in the year.
“Preliminary engineering for stage two is nearing completion and we are just about to start seeking expressions of interest in the next few weeks,” he said.
Stage two will consist of the development of about 600km of rail track, including an expansion of the Abu Dhabi line developed as stage one. The contract to build stage one of the line, which consists of a freight line within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, has already been awarded and construction is due to begin imminently, Bowker said.
He added that stage two will be more complex as it will involve the rail line stretching into areas like Jebel Ali that are already well developed.