The Saudi Landbridge project is a 590-mile double-track railway connecting Jeddah on the Red Sea—the busiest port in Saudi Arabia and a major gateway for cargo from Europe and North America—with the city of Riyadh. The new railway will connect with the existing 280-mile line between Riyadh and King Abdul Aziz Port at Dammam—another major commercial port in Saudi Arabia—on the Gulf coast. The project also includes a new 71-mile extension between Dammam and Jubail. The Saudi Landbridge project is being developed as a state-funded project by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
PB performed the original planning for the project in 1997 as part of the overall planning for railway programs in Saudi Arabia. The firm will be providing project management services for the Saudi Landbridge in association with Fluor Corp., which was awarded the management consultancy contract by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. The contract period is approximately eight years.
Parsons Brinckerhoff will provide support for development of complex elements of the new railway, such as the tunnels and bridges that will be needed to cross the varied terrain. The project will include several civil and track contracts, at least one design-build civil and trackworks contract in the vicinity of Jeddah, and a significant amount of tunneling and earthworks.
The new railway will serve primarily as a freight route that will significantly improve the efficiency of cargo transport. The port-to-port connection time will be reduced to approximately 18 hours from the three days currently needed to move cargo by ship between the ports. The schedule and cost savings from construction and operation of the new line is expected to provide a substantial boost to the regional freight economy. The railway is also expected to be used for passenger transport in the future, potentially serving millions of passengers each year.