The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) in the US has released a request for qualifications (RFQ) to carry out environmental and engineering services for two project sections in the state.

The San Francisco to San Jose Project Section of the high-speed rail (HSR) programme is 51 miles between the 4th and King St Station in San Francisco and Caltrain’s Tamien Station in San Jose.

The 84-mile San Jose to Merced Project Section travels from the Caltrain San Jose Diridon Station to the western limit of the Central Valley Wye at the intersection of Carlucci Road and Henry Miller Avenue, about nine miles north-east of Los Banos in Merced County.

"Awarding this contract will allow us to continue implementation of our 30% small business participation goals."

CHSRA is currently seeking a qualified company to provide the professional services required for the completion of the environmental documentation and preliminary engineering for these sections.

As part of its aim to move forward the high-speed rail programme in the Northern California region, CHSRA has entered into a partnership with Caltrain which will electrify its 51-mile rail commuter corridor that stretches from downtown San Francisco to San Jose’s Diridon Station.

In order to support the electrification project and installation of positive train control (PTC), the authority is providing $705m, which will allow for the future integration of HSR.

Northern California regional director Ben Tripousis said: "This work, along with rail modernisation already underway in the Bay Area, will support the advancement of bringing high-speed rail to the region.

"Awarding this contract will allow us to continue implementation of our 30% small business participation goals, which provide California businesses the opportunity to help deliver this transformative infrastructure project."

According to CHSRA, the contract is estimated at $36m for a three-year term, and statements of qualifications are due on 14 September.

On 12 August, CHSRA is hosting a pre-bid conference at the Milton Marks Auditorium, 455 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco, which will allow interested firms to network and learn about the details and requirements of the contract.

It will also give the interested firms information on how to bid and the importance of small business participation.