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The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has announced that a government committee has selected a new company to run the Mashair train project in the country for the next five years
According to the Saudi Gazette, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs undersecretary Dr Habib Zain Al-Abideen said the management contract of China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) currently overseeing the project would expire shortly.
More than 377,000 Hajj pilgrims reportedly travel by the trains each year and the project is manned by 1,600 personnel. The US$1.8bn Mashair train project in Saudi Arabia, which began in 2009, links Makkah with the ritual sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah.
The government committee received bids from 10 international firms for the project, that include players from France, Britain and Germany, it said.
The undersecetary said that the committee that selected the operator of the Mashair train project comprises representatives from the ministries of finance and municipal and rural affairs. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs oversees a range of development projects for holy sites in the country.