The 23-month contract involves renewing a 91km section and increasing the axleload to 32.5 tonnes.

The contract was signed by the president of SRO, HE Mohamed Al-Suwaiket (pictured right), and Mr Li Chongyang, managing director of CRCC. SRO awarded the contract for the first 78.4km to CRCC in August 2014.

SRO is keen to expand capacity for freight traffic between the Gulf coast and the capital Riyadh, and wants to attract new users to rail.