NORTH BAY -- Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit has signed off on two of the requests for qualification at its board of directors meeting Oct. 21.

The Civil Track Pathway Design Service RFQ went to two firms, PGH Wong and HDR Engineering, which will handle three sections of track.

PGH Wong will work on section one, which is from Larkspur to the Ignacio Y on contract for $1.694 million, while HDR will take sections two and three from Ignacio north for $3.996 million.

Sections two and three are tracks that will be shared with freight while section one will have only passenger trains.

“The work will begin immediately,” said Chris Coursey, the community outreach manager for SMART.

During the initial phase, the teams will refine definition of the program, enable completion of permitting, provide full understanding of risks, provide program budget validation, position project for design completion and prepare for construction packaging decisions.

The contracts will be about nine months. For both projects, SMART set up the contracts so that they will be done to a certain level at the end of the contract period, allowing them to reevaluate the work and see if they want to continue with the firms, said Mr. Coursey.

HDR has brought on 10 local firms to work on the project: Alta Planning & Design, BKF/Carlenzoli Engineers, Carlile Macy, Cinquini & Passarino, Coastland Engineering, CSW-Stuber-Stroeh, Winzler and Kelly, Green Valley Consulting, Kleinfelder and W-Trans.

“It is great to see the firms that are interested in this project are some of the top firms in the country that work on rail projects all over the world,” Mr. Coursey said.

The Vehicle and Systems Engineering Services RFQ went to LTK Engineering. That project will cost $1.988 million.

It will take between nine and 12 months.

What is expected out of that contracts is DMU vehicle specification and procurement support, systems design criteria development, positive train control system design, signals, communication and central control systems design, regulatory support, operations, safety and security support, fare collection system design, system-wide electrical and mechanical design and testing and start-up support.

All of the funds come from Measure Q, the quarter cent tax increase passed last year by voters.

SMART is looking to choose the firms for the next two contracts, the Station Design and the Major Bridges. Those RFQs have 13 and nine submittals, respectively.

On Nov. 12, the submittals for the last project, the Operations and Maintenance Facility will be due.