Spanish transport consultancy firm Consultrans has been selected by the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) to perform a ten-month feasibility study of the 480km-long high-speed railway line between Dammam and Riyadh.
Valued at SAR6.6m ($1.8m), the study will assess whether the line would shorten the current travel time between Dammam and Riyadh from four and a half hours to less than three hours.
It will also evaluate the operation of high-speed trains from an average speed of 180km/h to up to 300km/h.
SRO president Mohammed Al-Suwaiket was quoted by Arab News as saying that the ten-month contract will include the traffic movement study between the two cities and determine the line in comparison with existing main lines, as well as the preliminary technical description of the infrastructure for the project.
He added that the study will also include the train sets to be used for this high-speed line and the estimation of the financial cost of the overall project and the expected revenues.
In addition, the study will involve market research, demand analysis, definition of best alignment, estimation of financial cost for the entire project and advisement on the most appropriate procurement approach for future contracts for this project.
French, German and US companies, such as Louis Berger, Egis, DB International and AECOM, participated in the bidding process.