Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) has won a €1.2bn ($1.7bn) contract to build a second railway line in Algeria.

FCC will carry out the work in a joint venture with local construction company ETRHB Haddad.

The second railway line involves building a 66-kilometre track that will run from Tlemcen to Akkid Abbas which is a town on the border with Morocco. The work is expected to take four years to complete.

The railway line is part of a wider plan to build a 185km railway that will eventually connect the cities of Relizane, Tiaret and Tissemsilt. In May 2010, FCC won the construction deal to build one line of the railway, which involves building a 121.1km line that will run from Relizane to Tiaret and will have five tunnels (MEED 5:5:10).

The new railway line will allow trains to travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometres an hour. The railway project will also involve the construction of seven passenger stations, five junctions, seven maintenance buildings along the length of the railway and renovation work on existing stations in Relizane and Tissemsilt.

Algeria’s Transport Ministry is the client on the project along with the country’s railway authority Agence Nationale d’Etudes & de Suivi de la Realisation des Investissement Ferroviaires (Anesrif). The Algerian government has pledged to spend $30bn on transport development up to 2013.