Progress Rail notches up Egypt deal
Thales wins Egyptian contract
Kuwait starts work on rail connection to Gulf region
Netanyahu Gives Green Light for Rail Network to Connect Israel With Saudi Arabia
Malaysia and Singapore suspend construction of high-speed rail line
Jacobs wins consultancy role on Etihad Rail project in UAE
Gulf rail network will be a milestone
UAE says will have rail link with Saudi Arabia by the end of December 2021
Hot and dusty, with rain in the forecast for the UAE
Wagons delivered from Poland to Saudi Arabia
A high-speed railway linking Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia, which has been plagued by delays, will finally start operating in September, the Spanish consortium building the project said Thursday.
The railway linking Islam's holiest cities, which was initially scheduled to open at the end of 2016, had a cost overrun of 210 million euros which Saudi Arabia has agreed to pay, the Al-Shoula consortium added in a statement.
It will begin operating in September with four trains per week, before offering daily service by September 2019.
Saudi Arabia in 2011 awarded the contract worth 6.7 billion euros ($7.1 billion) to the consortium of 12 Spanish companies and two Saudi firms for the project which aims to improve transport between the two cities during the annual hajj pilgrimage.
The contract -- one of the biggest Spanish firms have ever undertaken abroad -- is for the laying of the 444 kilometres (275 miles) of track between Makkah and Madinah, providing 35 trains and maintaining the line for 12 years.
When it is finished, the rail link will be able to move 166,000 passengers per day.
But the project has run into challenges that have added to its costs, leading to disagreements among members of the consortium over who is responsible for resolving them and paying for the cost overruns.
The rail line crosses the Arabian Desert, where sandstorms are frequent and large dunes can suddenly form, which has added to the difficulties in completing the project.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visit to Spain last month played a "key" role in resolving the disagreements over the delays in completing he project, Spanish daily El Mundo reported earlier on Thursday.
The leading firms in the consortium -- Spain's rail company Renfe, train maker Talgo, and state track operator Adif -- have extensive experience with Spain's own high-speed network, the world's second largest after China's.
This article first appeared on www.arabianbusiness.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2018 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.