The Saudi Land Bridge cross-country railway may now be financed by $7bn from Saudi Arabia after project bidders failed to acquire the necessary funds.
The financing issues will delay the project’s completion from 2010 to 2015, according to Bloomberg.
A consortium comprising Swiss investment bank UBS, the National Commercial Bank and French railway Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais is providing financial and technical advisory services for the project.
Connecting the port cities of Jeddah, Dammam and Jubail on the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coasts with Riyadh, the project involves building a 950km new line between Riyadh and Jeddah, and a 115km new line between Dammam and Jubail.
The railway is planned to move cargo over long distances as well as provide overland passenger transport.