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Saudi High Speed Rail Project in Construction Phase After Delays

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Railways Organization said the Haramain high-speed link connecting Mecca with Medina is deep into its construction phase after earlier delays which saw the planned opening date slip by a year.

The line’s station in Medina is now 52 percent complete, with the Mecca terminal and a stop in Jeddah about a third built and one serving King Abdullah Economic City almost 38 percent done, Wasmi al-Ferraj, director general of expansion projects at Saudi Railways, said at a conference in Riyadh.

The Haramain link, which will be 450 kilometers (280 miles) long and allow trains to reach at least 300 kmph, is now due to open by the end of December 2015, the executive said. A fifth station will serve Jeddah International airport.

The line will cost almost 46 billion riyals ($12 billion), with the first phase, split into two parts, having a budget totaling 15.7 billion riyals and the second -- which includes the tracks and signalling -- some 30 billion riyals, Al-Ferraj said in an interview following his presentation.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Jasper at cjasper@bloomberg.net

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