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Global Rail News - Project Updates for UK, Malaysia & Qatar Rail Projects

QATAR
The Qatar Railways Company (QRC), which is implementing a $37bn integrated rail system in the country, is set to award six major contracts in April 2012.
The contracts include four tunnelling packages with each worth $2bn to $3bn and two major station projects in Msheireb and Education City, which will each cost $1bn.

As the country is gearing up to bid for the Olympics it is planning to complete the Doha Metro project 18 months earlier than originally planned.

Qatar Rail will call about 30 consortia who have prequalified for the contracts to make presentations next month which will allow it to get clarity on the projects and reduce the number of bidders.

The first phase will build a 52km single-bore tunnel while the second phase will have a combination of tunnelling for a few km with the rest being an elevated line. Doha Metro will be one of the most modern railway networks in the world and will have four lines with an overall length of 300km, connecting 98 stations.


MALAYSIA
The Malaysian government is in the final stages of discussions with a Chinese company that is going to be awarded the RM8 billion Gemas-Johor Baru Electrified Double Tracking Project (EDTP).

Business Times had reported on Wednesday that the winner for the project will be known in March 2012.

RM8.2 billion tunneling job for the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line between Sungai Buloh and Kajang has been awarded by project owner MRT Corp announced today.  “The tunneling works will require underground work at an unprecedented scale. It is the single largest package of the MRT that makes up 30 to 40 per cent out of the total project cost.

The MRT, meant to ease traffic congestion in the Klang Valley, is Malaysia's largest and most expensive infrastructure project to date.

Construction of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line will begin in the second or third quarter of this year and is scheduled to be completed by end-2016, with services commencing in January 2017. There are a total of 31 stations for the line.


UK
The government has given the green light to a new £32.7bn high-speed rail network and announced new stretches of tunnelling to placate opponents of the scheme.
 The first phase of the network, between London and Birmingham, due to come into operation in 2026, will cut journey times by more than 30 minutes.  About 22.5 miles of the amended route is underground, an increase of 50% on the original plan.

A future link from the London-Birmingham line to Britain's first high-speed line running to the Channel tunnel offers the prospect of journeys between Paris and Manchester in three-and-a-half hours.
"The development of the railways in the 19th century was the backbone of the industrial revolution. Let us hope HS2 will provide the catalyst that sparks growth in the Midlands and the north of England in the 21st century."

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