The procurement process for the construction of the South Wales Metro transport project and the running of the next Wales and Borders rail franchise is expected to begin in summer 2016.
It comes as the new body set up by the Welsh Government to deliver the Metro, starting with electrification of the Valley Lines, has appointed consultancy firm Mott MacDonald to provide advisory expertise during the procurement process.
In the recently announced £1.2bh City Deal for the Cardiff Capital City Region, some £734m was allocated to the Metro project; effectively its phase two in the electrification of the Valleys Lines.
It is expected that a consortia will be formed, bringing together transport infrastructure construction and rail/tram operating specialists, to bid for the contract.
They could also look to facilitate a new wave of commercial developments around new and existing stations across the Metro network.
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