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Union Railway, the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, announced that it has appointed a Project Management Consultant (PMC) and a Preliminary Engineering (PE) Services Consultant for the project, marking an important milestone as the development of the rail network gains momentum.
The PMC contract has been awarded to Parsons-Systra, a joint venture between US-based Parsons and France's Systra, in the largest contract announcement for the project to date. Parsons-Systra has been mandated to work as Union Railway’s project manager to implement Stage 0 of the project (the Shah Habshan Ruwais railway and part of the next two phases. These next phases are Stage 1 (network in Abu Dhabi and Dubai) and Stage 2 (Northern Emirates). When completed, there will be 1500km freight and passenger rail network built across the UAE. Part of Parsons-Systra’s role as PMC will be to supervise the preliminary engineering work for Stages 1 and 2, the contract for which Union Railway has also announced today.
The PE Services Consultancy role for Stages 1 and 2 of the rail project has been awarded to Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the world's leading planning, engineering, and program and construction management organizations. Under the management of Parsons-Systra, Parsons Brinckerhoff’s role will be to finalise the concept then prepare the preliminary design and the tender documents for the construction of Stage 1 and 2 of the network. The announcement coincided with Union Railway CEO, Richard Bowker’s update on the progress of the railway at the Roadex-Railex Leaders in Rail conference held in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr Bowker said, “The development of an integrated railway network signals a new era for the UAE’s transport system. The appointment of a Project Management Consultant at the same time as a Preliminary Engineering Services Consultant marks a critical milestone in the progress of the project, as we now move from the concept stage to the actual implementation stage.
Mr Bowker continued, “Parsons and Systra have a proven track record in rail transport project management and as a joint venture Parsons-Systra already looks after a number of rail projects in the region, including the Dubai Metro. Their expertise and local knowledge will be of great value in this project. We are also delighted to be appointing Parsons Brinckerhoff as PE Services Consultant for Stages 1 and 2. With their global engineering experience, they will be a great asset to the railway. We welcome both companies on board.”
Jeffrey F. Squires, President of Parsons MENA, from Parsons-Systra, added, “The Union Railway project is one of the most exciting transport projects currently underway in this region. We share with Union Railway a commitment to building an integrated transport network for the UAE and look forward to working on the project.”
Slav Marjanovic Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Operations Director for the Middle East and Northern Africa said, “We are delighted to be appointed to undertake the preliminary engineering for the second two phases of the visionary Union Railway Project. This is a unique opportunity to build a railway that will transform the UAE and we are privileged to be a part of it.”
For the stage 0 of the Union Railway project (the Shah-Habshan-Ruwais route), Parsons-Systra will be responsible for the entire project supervision, including testing and commissioning, as well as a defect liability period once the project is complete.
For stage 1 and stage 2, Parsons-Systra’s services will include the supervision of the Preliminary Engineering work and contract formation, and will conclude on the awarding of construction contracts for those stages.