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Six bid for Mecca-to-Jeddah rail stations

JEDDAH (Reuters) - German transport group Deutsche Bahn DBN.UL, Italy's Astaldi AST.MI and British firm WS Atkins ATKW.L form parts of six consortiums bidding to build four stations along a 450-km (280 mile) railway in Saudi Arabia.

France's Alstom ALSO.PA, Austria's Strabag STRV.VI, and Singapore-based ST Engineering Ltd's STEG.SI are also bidding, the Saudi Railway Organisation (SRO) said in an emailed statement on Sunday.

Each of the foreign companies has teamed up with a Saudi partner to compete for this phase of the link.

“On Saturday, July 10, 2010, SRO received the technical and financial offers for the construction of the Haramain High Speed Rail (HHR) stations,” SRO said.

The high-speed Haramain Railway will link Islam’s holiest cities Mecca and Medina to the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, a key entry point for millions of pilgrims, and to King Abdullah Economic City, currently under construction.

Last year British firms Foster and Partners and Buro Happold were awarded a 142 million riyals (26 million pound) contract to design the four stations while a 6.5 billion riyal contract was awarded to a group led by Al-Rajhi Group to conduct the civil works linked to the railway.

Earlier this month the SRO received bids for a contract to cover the construction of the railway tracks, installation of signalling system and telecommunications, as well as the procurement of rolling stock and maintenance. It will also include a 12 year passenger service operation.

Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Andrew Callus

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