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Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) has awarded the US$9.4 billion Haramain Railway second phase contract to the public-private Saudi-Spanish Al-Shoula consortium.
The high-speed railway project will link Islam's holiest cities Makkah and Madinah to the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, a key entry point for millions of pilgrims, and to King Abdullah Economic City, currently under construction.
"This phase of the project includes the construction of railway tracks, installation of signaling and telecommunication systems, electrification, operational control centre, the procurement of 35 trains, and the operation and maintenance for a period of 12 years," Saudi Railways said in a statement recently.
The contract covers the construction of 450 km of high-speed track, with the capacity to transport over 160,000 passengers a day, according to Spain's Ministry of Public Works.