US consultants hired for 950km Saudi railway plan
US-based Parsons Brinckerhoff has said it will provide project management consulting services for the design and construction of a new rail line between the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Landbridge project is a 950km double-track railway connecting Jeddah on the Red Sea—the busiest port in Saudi Arabia and a major gateway for cargo from Europe and North America—with the city of Riyadh.
The firm will be providing project management services for the project in association with Fluor Corporation, which was awarded the management consultancy contract by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. The contract period is approximately eight years.
The new railway will connect with the existing 450km line between Riyadh and King Abdul Aziz Port at Dammam, another major commercial port in Saudi Arabia.
The project also includes a new 115km extension between Dammam and Jubail. The project is being developed as a state-funded project by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
The new railway will serve primarily as a freight route that will significantly improve the efficiency of cargo transport.
The port-to-port connection time will be reduced to approximately 10 hours from the three days currently needed to move cargo by ship between the ports.
The schedule and cost savings from construction and operation of the new line will provide a substantial boost to the regional freight economy, the statement added.
Parsons Brinckerhoff said it will provide support for development of complex elements of the new railway, such as the tunnels and bridges that will be needed to cross the varied terrain.
The project will include several civil and track contracts, at least one design-build civil and track works contract in the vicinity of Jeddah, and a significant amount of tunneling and earthworks, it added.
The railway will also be used for passenger transport in future, potentially serving millions of passengers each year.