Spain To Build $10 Billion High-Speed Rail Network In Medina-Makkah

Renfe, one of the leaders of the consortium, will build the “Al Haramain” project, aimed at transporting Muslim pilgrims between Jeddah and the two holy cities of Medina and Mecca, a distance of 450 kilometers. (File Photo)

A Spanish consortium has won a contract worth 7.0 billion euros ($10 billion) to build a high-speed rail network linking Medina, Jeddah and the Muslim pilgrimage site of Makkah in Saudi Arabia, Spanish media said.

Spain has been a world leader in high-speed rail networks and now has the longest such system in Europe, ahead of France.

The “Al Haramain” project is aimed at transporting Muslim pilgroms between Jeddah and the two holy cities of Medina and Makkah, a distance of 450 kilometres.

A spokesman for the transport ministry said “the process is very advanced, the Spanish bid is in a good position but it is not yet finalized.”

Spain and France have been in stiff competition to win the contract, which was raised during a visit to Saudi Arabia in February by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah attracts some 2.5 million Muslims from around the world for a stay of two weeks on average. The winning consortium will supply the high-speed trains and maintain the line for a period of 12 years.

Source {Al Arabiya News}


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