The largely Spanish consortium led by local Al-Shoula Group has signed the $7.9bn contract for phase two of the Haramain high-speed railway.

The consortium was named preferred bidder in September 2010 and MEED reported in July that the group had won the contract (MEED 20:7:11). The other members of the Al-Shoula consortium includes six Spanish firms, Talgo, Indra, OHL, Dimetronic, Renfe and Adif.

All negotiations have now been concluded with the group, says a source from Saudi Railways Organisation.

Phase two comprises the construction of the railway tracks, installation of signalling and telecommunication systems, electrification, construction of the operational control centre, the procurement of 35 trains and the operation and maintenance of the railway for 35 years.

Phase two also involves building 25 rail bridges, 157 crossings, including wadi bridges and culverts, and 70 crossings for cars and camels in Mecca and Medina.

In February, the SRO awarded two contracts for the construction of four passenger stations to Saudi Binladin Group and Saudi Oger. This is package two of phase one. The stations will be built at Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.