Al-Rajhi wins Mecca-Medina rail contract

By Richard High09 February 2009

The Al Rajhi consortium, which includes France's Alstom and China Railway Engineering, has won the SAR 6.79 billion (US$ 1.8 billion) contract for the civil works of the Haramain High Speed Rail project linking the two holy cities of Makkah (Mecca) and Madinah (Medina).

Announcing the decision, Saudi Arabia's Transport Minister, Jabara Al-Seraisry, said the Haramain High Speed Rail project would be an ideal solution for the transportation problems faced by millions of pilgrims each year.

"The conclusion of the contract is the result of the great efforts made by Saudi Railway Organization (SRO), the Public Investment Fund and the Advisers of the project over the past weeks to scrutinize tenders submitted by various eligible consortia," said Mr Al-Seraisry, who is also chairman of SRO, in a statement.

The contract is for the Phase 1 Package 1 - Route Civil Works, which includes for laying rail lines from Makkah to Madinah, passing through the capital Jeddah and King Abdul Aziz International Airport.

Stations will be built under Phase 1 Package 2 and will be completed in three years from the date of signing the contract, according to Abdul Aziz Al Hokail, SRO president.

The completed line will be 450 km-long and is expected to cost US$ 6 billion.

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