Rites to operate North-South minerals railway

29 March 2010

The 1,486-kilometre railway is scheduled to open at the end of 2010

Saudi Arabian Railway has awarded a SR278m ($74m) contract to India’s state-owned engineering and consultancy firm Rites to operate its North-South minerals railway in the kingdom.

The contract will be valid until the end of 2013, according to a report in locqal daily Arab News. Under the contract, Rites will operate the railway line that will be used to transport phosphate and bauxite from Jelamaid in the northern region to processors in Ras Azzzour located near the industrial port city of Jubail.

Saudi Arabia Railway has already built 800 kilometres of the 1,486-kilometre North-South project that will create a freight route to the Gulf coast from the kingdom’s northern mines.

The railway line is scheduled to open at the end of 2010.

Passenger traffic on the route will start in 2013 with trains running through Riyadh, Sudair, Qassim, Hail and Al-Jouf.

A Saudi-led consortium was formally awarded the $720m fourth construction package on the North-South minerals railway in September 2009 (MEED 7:9:09).

Al-Ayuni Trading & Contracting Company and Al-Abdulaziz al-Omer Establishment for Trading & Contracting led the group that will build the 480-kilometre-long passenger line between Al-Zabirah junction and King Khaled International airport in Riyadh.

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