India’s state-owned RITES will be involved in the operation of a 1,486km north-south railway in Saudi Arabia.

The line will link the northern Jalamid region with Ras Azzour, near the industrial port city of Jubail.

The Saudi Railways Organisation and Rites previously signed a SR278m agreement for the line, according to

Sponsored by a public investment fund, the rail line is integral part of planned phosphate and bauxite mining projects in the north of the country that will link processing plants and smelters on the Gulf coast.

The project is now in its final stage and will open by the end of 2010, while passenger traffic on the line will begin in 2013 with trains passing through Riyadh, Sudair, Qassim, Hail and Al-Jouf.