Mecca-Medina link goes ahead

17 March 2006

The Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) has kicked off the tendering process for its planned Mecca-Medina passenger rail link by announcing a project day in Jeddah on 23 May. Interested companies have until 26 April to submit applications to attend the event, with the invitations expected to be issued by 9 May.

According to the SRO, the prequalification process will start soon after the project day, and that any consortium applying for prequalification must include among its members a high-speed technology provider as a leader, an experienced passenger service operator and world-class civil and electro-mechanical contractors.

The Mecca-Jeddah-Rabigh-Medina rail link will be developed on a long-term design-build-operate-transfer (DBOT) basis over a period of up to 50 years.

The project will comprise the construction of about 500 kilometres of high-speed electrified railway line equipped with a modern signalling and telecommunications systems and the provision of state-of-the-art trainsets. The selected concessionaire will operate and maintain the system and provide additional capacity to meet future increases in demand during the concession period (MEED 17:12:04).

The scheme will have six stations. The first will be built in Mecca near the grand mosque, with a second station built on the city outskirts. Two stations will be located in Jeddah - one at the airport and one in the city centre - one in Rabigh and one more at Medina, about three kilometres from the Holy Mosque. Up to 100 trains a day will run on the line (MEED 10:3:06).

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