Saudi rail project delayed until 2016

Saudi Arabia’s Haramain railway project linking the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah will not be complete until 2016, according to Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) president Muhammad Al-Suwaiket.

SRO said in January that the project would be ready for operations by December 2015.

But speaking to the Saudi Gazette, Al-Suwaiket said: “Only 50 percent of the project has been completed so far,” adding that the trains for the project would be tested in 2015.

The Haramain Railway line will connect the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah and is reportedly costing $14bn (SR51.5bn), following a revision of an earlier figure of $11.1bn quoted by an SRO report.

First phase work on the project involves all civil works related to the building of the railway, including preparation of the ground, construction of bridges, culverts and tunnels for the laying of the track.

Al Rajhi Alliance, which is a consortium of China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), Al Arrab Contracting Company Ltd, and Al Suwailem Company, are carrying out the first phase works.

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