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Fluor hired for $7bn Riyadh to Jeddah rail link

on Jan 3, 2013

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Fluor Corporation has been brought in by the Saudi Arabian government to provide management consultancy on the $7bn Riyadh to Jeddah railway project.

As part of the $72m deal signed with the state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), the US-based firm will oversee the work of the contractors and experimental operation of the project over a period of 84 months,.

PIF will fund the project and a team drawn from the ministries of transport, finance and Saudi Railways Company (SAR) will supervise it, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The line will from from Jeddah Islamic Port to Riyadh where it will be connected with the existing 450km line between Riyadh and Dammam, with a second 115km line planned to connect Dammam and Jubail.

The 958km route will necessitate the building of several tunnels and bridges, with SAR and Fluor working closely to supervise the work.

The construction of the rail link is expected to dramatically reduce the amount of time taken by passsengers to travel between the cities on public transport to six hours, instead of the current 10- 2 hours by bus. For freight trains, the maximum travel time will be 12 hours.

The design speed of passenger trains is expected to be 250kph and 140kph for freight trains, making the trip between Dammam and Jeddah around 12 hours for cargo. Sea-borne freight can take up to nine days to travel between the two destinations.