Saudi Arabia : New railway projects to link eastern and western regions

New railway projects will flourish the regional transportation in Saudi Arabia through linking the west to east of the Kingdom.
It will also provide facilities to trade transportation through connecting Jeddah Islamic Port with Riyadh and Dammam.
The project is expected to have a positive impact on the transport of the Kingdom.

It will allow cargo goods imported from East Asian countries through King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam, and from Europe and North America through Jeddah Islamic Port, resulting in more transit cargo and savings in regional freight economy.

“The railway line would start from Jeddah Islamic Port to Riyadh and will be connected with the existing 450-kilometer line between Riyadh and Dammam. A second 115-kilometer new line is also planned to connect Dammam with Jubail,” said SAR Board Chairman Mansour Al-Maiman.
The $ 7 billion railway project linking Riyadh with Jeddah gathered steam with the state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF) signing a SR 270 million ($ 72 million) contract with Fluor, a US company, to provide management consultancy.

The contract is a part of the plan that has been ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to complete the railway infrastructure of the Kingdom and in line with a decision of the Council of Ministers to construct a railway line connecting the Kingdom’s west coast with its east shoreline.

The SAR is currently implementing the North-South Railway (NSR) project, the world’s largest railway project and the longest route to adopt the European Train Control System (ETCS) to date.

It is a 2,400-km passenger and freight rail line originating in Riyadh, in the northwest of the country, to Al-Hudaitha, near the border with Jordan.

The North-South railway represents a top priority over the other projects due to its strategic importance to the national economy.
It is an integral part of the planned phosphate and bauxite mining projects in the northern region of the country that are available in commercial quantities and can be exported from the processing facilities at Raz Al-Zwar on the Gulf coast.

This will make Saudi Arabia as the second largest exporter of minerals in the world.

The North-South Railway will have 107 bridges and 2,679 culverts along the 2,400-km freight and passenger line.
The stretch involves construction of a 280-km rail line in the Al-Nafude desert between Hail and Al-Jawf.

The land bridge project is part of the Saudi Railways Organization’s railway expansion program, which will be the first rail link between Red Sea and the Gulf.

“The land bridge along with North-South Railway and Haramain Railway will have a big impact on social and economic development of the country,” said Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry.

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Source : Arab News

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