SAUDI ARABIA: The Public Investment Fund has extended Italferr’s contract to undertake design work for the planned Landbridge.

The Landbridge project comprises a 950 km double-track mixed traffic line running from the Port of Jeddah to Riyadh, where it would connect with the existing railway which would be upgraded to complete a 1 300 km corridor linking the Red Sea with the Persian Gulf.

Announcing the signing of the latest 20-month contract on August 20, Italferr said that once electrified the proposed line would enable passenger trains to run at up to 350 km/h.

Along with local partner Arabian Consulting Engineering Centre, the engineering consultancy subsidiary of Italian national railway group FS was awarded an initial 14-month design contract in 2013. This covered environment studies and track, structures, ETCS Level 2 signalling and telecoms.