$8bn Saudi high-speed rail ‘awarded'

The US$8.25bn contract to build a high-speed rail link between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia is to be awarded to a Spanish-led consortium, according to a local source.

Al-Shoula Consortium will be awarded the contract, newspaper El Confidencial reported, quoting two unnamed sources involved in the deal.

The consortium – which includes Spanish state-owned rail company Renfe – submitted its technical and financial offers to Saudi Railways Organization along with a French-Saudi group (Al-Rajhi Alliance) in June.

The contract includes construction of railway tracks, installation of signal system and telecommunications, procurement of rolling stock and equipment, and maintenance for the entire infrastructure for 12 years.

The 450km high-speed railway will reduce the distance between Jeddah and Madinah to two hours.