Saudi Arabia to Unveil Jeddah Railway Project Soon
Saudi Arabia will soon unveil a multi-billion dollar railway project linking the east and west coasts through Riyadh, said Transport Minister Nasser Al Sallum on Sunday.
“The project will be announced soon, hopefully before the end of this year, and executive studies will commence immediately after that,” Sallum said, cited by the Gulf Daily News.
The rail link between Jeddah on the Red Sea and Dammam on the Gulf coast through Riyadh, is one of four railway projects being considered by the kingdom that are expected to cost several billion dollars.
Other planned railways include links between Riyadh and the mines in the north, and another between the holy cities of Madina and Mecca with Yanbu and Jeddah on the Red Sea.
The Jeddah-Dammam link is expected to boost cargo transport by 19.5 percent to 30 million tons and transport 23 million passengers a year, he said.
Saudi Arabia has invited the private sector to construct the railways, and several foreign and local firms are bidding for the projects.
Japan last year turned down a Saudi request to finance a $2 billion rail link between phosphate mines in the north and industrial centers in eastern Saudi Arabia.
The decision cost Tokyo an oil-drilling concession, which Riyadh refused to renew in February 2000, said the paper – Albawaba.com