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Spanish, Saudi rail group lands $811m loan to link holy cities

Al-Shoula consortium, which had won the contract to build a high-speed railway linking the two Saudi holy cities of Makkah and Madinah, has secured a SR3.04bn ($811m) loan facility needed to start the project, Reuters has reported. Last October, the consortium won a $8.5bn contract from the Saudi Railways Organisation to build the project. The group includes Saudi companies Al Shoula and Al Rosan, and Spanish public rail companies Renfe and Adif, private builders OHL, ACS, and Indra. The contract involves the construction of 450 km of high-speed track with the capacity to transport over 160,000 passengers a day, as well as the supply of high-speed trains and a maintenance service.