Saudi Railway Company (SAR) has received bids from five consortiums for the contract to build a railway line from Ras al-Khair to Jubail.

SAR is currently carrying out a technical evaluation on bids for the 85-kilometre-long rail link, which is the first phase of the project to link Ras al-Khair and Dammam, said a speaker at MEED’s Saudi Roads & Bridges Forum 2012 on 27 February.

SAR is also currently prequalifying companies for the second phase of the project, which involves building a 125km-long rail link between Jubail and Dammam. The SAR is expected to tender the contract by the end of the year.

The rail link between Ras al-Khair and Jubail will be used for transporting industrial goods and products. The complete railway will take three and a half years to complete.

The work also includes geotechnical investigation, earthworks, procurement of all materials and equipment, track-laying, welding of the rails, installation of pipes and utilities and the construction and installation of bridges and culverts.

SAR has already completed the construction of the North-South minerals railway project. It will also now be responsible for the construction of the long-delayed $7bn Landbridge railway project, which will connect Jeddah port on the Red Sea coast with Riyadh and the ports of Dammam and Jubail on the Gulf coast.