The Saudi government Public Investment Fund signing a SR270 million ($72 million) management consulting services contract with the American engineering construction company Fluor for the $7 billion railway project linking Riyadh with Jeddah, Arab News reported today. The contract calls for Fluor to oversee the work of the contractors and experimental operation of the railway project over a period of seven years. The contract is part of a railway project connecting Kingdom’s west coast with its east coast.
The daily reported that Saudi Railways Company (SAR) Board Chairman Mansour Al-Maiman said the line would start from Jeddah Islamic Port to Riyadh to be connected with the existing 450 km line between Riyadh and Dammam, with a second 115-km new line planned to connect Dammam with Jubail on the Arabian Gulf.
The design speed of passenger trains is expected to be 250 kph (155 mph) and 140 kph (87 mph) for freight trains and will cut passenger travel time from 12 hours to six and cargo from nine days by sea to 12 hours by train.
Al-Maiman said Fluor was picked from five international companies that had offered their bids to win the contract. Fluor will work with Parsons Brinckerhoff to review the engineering designs.