27 Oct 2011

Spanish consortium wins Saudi rail contract

4:45 pm on 27 October 2011

A Spanish consortium has won the contract to build a high-speed rail link in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Railways Organisation says the contract, worth €6.7 billion ($11.6 billion) involves supplying 35 trains and operating the network for 12 years.

The BBC reports that the Al Shoula consortium was chosen ahead of SNCF Alstom of France. Spain's high-speed rail network is the largest in Europe.

The Saudi project links the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina. About 2.5 million Muslims make the annual hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca each year.