Germany’s Deutsche Bahn has withdrawn from the Saudi Binladin consortium bidding for work on the second phase of the $7bn Haramain high-speed rail project, according to a source at the Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO).

The reason for the withdrawal is not clear and Deutshe Bahn was unavailable for comment when contacted by MEED.

“The contract involves construction of railway lines and maintenance of the trains and network for 12 years”

Only Saudi Binladin Group, Siemens and Turkey’s Turkiye Cumhuriy Devlet Demiryollari now remain in the consortium. It is one of five groups bidding for the work

The Saudi Railways Organisation has set a deadline of 1 May for the consortiums to submit their technical and financial bids.

The UK’s Foster & Partners and Buro Happold have completed designs for the four stations on the railway route that comprises package two of phase one.

Eight prequalified consortiums are currently bidding for the contract to build the stations. The SRO has extended the closing date to submit bids from early May to 10 May to give bidders more time to prepare their technical and financial proposals.

The bidders for the station construction contract include various local firms: Al-Safwa, Saudi Binladin, Saudi Oger, Al-Arrab Alliance, Azmeel Alliance, Nesma & Partners Contracting Company, and Al-Mabani General Contractors. UK-based Kier Construction is also bidding.

The stations will be built in Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.