Saudi reviews final round of rail network bids

Six lines of 175km electric rail are planned to stretch across Riyadh.


By Massoud A. Derhally

Four groups of companies qualified for the final bidding stage to build a metro network in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh, Arab News reported.

33 companies from 15 countries, which include Vinci and Alstom of France, Italy’s Ansaldo, Canada’s Bombardier, Germany’s Siemens and Stadler Bussnang of Switzerland, have to submit their final bids by December, the Jeddah-based newspaper reported citing the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh.

Six lines of electric rail at a total of 175 km, are planned to stretch across Riyadh and serve the airport and the future King Abdullah Financial District.

More than one consortium may take part in the project because of its size, the newspaper reported, citing the commission.

In January, the kingdom signed an $8.2bn accord deal with a Spanish group of companies to build a 450km high-speed railway linking the cities of Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia has a 449-km passenger train linking Riyadh with Dammam.

Earlier this month, Bombardier Transportation signed a $367m agreement to develop and supply components for high speed trains in Saudi Arabia. The company said it inked contracts with Talgo to work on 36 express trains that will be used on the planned rail line connecting the Mecca and Medina.

Saudi Arabia's first high-speed passenger rail line is slated for completion by January 2014.

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