Saudi Arabia is close to tendering a contract for the construction of a 1,600 km railroad cross-country rail line.
The country will seek bidders for the link between the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf by the end of this year or early next year, according to a report.
The line could cut the freight transportation time between coasts to two days compared to the current five days it takes ships to sail around the country, Bloomberg reported, citing a top official.
Saudi Railway Company chief executive Bashar Al Malik said there had been an encouraging response to an invitation for expressions of interest in building the project.
Saudi Arabia first awarded contracts for a privately funded coast-to-coast line in 2008 but the project was shelved after financial terms couldn’t be agreed, Al Malik told the newswire.
"The cost of the Land Bridge line will depend on the exact route chosen and the location of the Red Sea terminus, with bidding for contracts likely to include local and international engineering companies and financial institutions," he said.