The Public Investment Fund (PIF), part of the Finance Ministry, is evaluating bids on the contract to provide signalling and telecoms to the 2,400-kilometre line, another to provide wagons for the railway and a third to provide operations and maintenance services.

Tenders have also been issued seeking manufacturers to supply locomotives and passenger carriages to the railway.

“Tenders for three contracts are currently being assessed,” says a source close to the project. “We expect that bids for the locomotives will be returned after Ramadan, and at the same time awards should be made for the other contracts.”