Qatar Railways has delayed the first tender to build a Qatar-wide rail network until the third quarter of next year.

The rail official said that currently the country is undertaking a detailed study of the designs, which has led to a delay in awarding the tenders.

Qatar Rail Alliance, a joint venture of seven construction companies that will carry out work, is expected to start work on the western side of Doha, near Education City.

The partners in the Qatar Rail Alliance include Hochtief, Al Jaber Trading & Contracting, Consolidated Contractors International Company, Marbu, Arup and Hyder.

The Qatari project will be part of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail link project which is being planned at a cost of $200bn and will be implemented in a phased manner.

The first phase of the project will link all nine stadiums planned for the 2022 World Cup in order to transport football fans.

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The second phase of work, which be carried out between 2022 and 2030, will link the country with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The third phase will include works within the country and will be implemented between 2030 and 2052.