The Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) has extended the bid deadline to 10 July for bids for package two of phase one of the $7bn Haramain high-speed railway.

The original bid deadline was 12 June. It was extended in early June to give bidders more time to prepare their technical and financial proposals (MEED 28:4:10).

Package two involves the design and construction of four stations on the rail line. The UK’s Foster & Partners has now finished the design part of the package.

Eight consortiums are prequalified to bid for the contract. The consortiums include: the local Saudi Binladin Group; the local Almabani General Contractors; the local Al-Yamama Company for Trading & Contracting; Saudi Freyssinet; Saudi Oger; the local Al-Arrab Alliance; the local Nesma & Partners Contracting Company; and Azmeel Alliance with China Railway No.17.

The SRO has also confirmed that two groups have submitted bids for phase two of the project on 3 July.

Phase two involves construction of the track, signalling, telecommunications, electrification and building an operational control centre for the railway. Phase two also involves procurement and maintenance of the trains.

Although five consortiums were prequalified to bid on phase two only, the local Al-Shoula Group and Al-Rajhi Holding Group together with France’s Alstom submitted bids.

However, Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), the Badr consortium led by South Korea’s Integrated Transportation Company together with Samsung C&T Corporation and China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation (CSR) consortium declined to submit bids for work on phase two.

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn withdrew from the Saudi Binladin consortium in February.

Once construction work is complete, the successful bidder will operate and maintain the entire railway for 12 years.

The work on phase two will involve building 25 rail bridges, 157 crossings including wadi bridges and culverts and 70 crossings for cars and camels in Mecca and Medina.

Package one of phase one, which comprises civil works is now 90 per cent complete. Civil works include roadway excavation, the body of the track, and building bridges and culverts.