A Spanish consortium has beaten its French rival in the bidding for a Saudi contract estimated around seven billion euros ($10 billion) to build a high-speed railway, the Saudi rail authority said on Wednesday.
“An approval has been issued on awarding the phase 2 of Haramain High Speed Rail Project (HHR) to al-Shoula Consortium, comprising of a number of Saudi and Spanish Companies,” the Saudi Railways Organization said on its website.
The consortium comprises Spanish rail operator Renfe, Talgo, Adif, OHL and eight other companies, while the French consortium included French rail operator SNCF and Alstom.
The high-speed Haramain Railway will link Islam’s holiest cities Mecca and Medina to the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, a key entry point for millions of pilgrims, and to King Abdullah Economic City, currently under construction.
“This [second] Phase of the project includes the construction of railway tracks, installation of signaling and telecommunication systems, electrification, operational control center, the procurement of 35 train sets, and the operation and maintenance for a period of 12 years,” the Saudi Railways said in a statement.