ME Rail 2018: SAR infrastructure head gives overview of Kingdom’s rail plans
Speaking at the 12th edition of the Middle East Rail 2018, Khalid Al Sultan, VP – Infrastructure, Saudi Railway Company (SAR) covered the company’s railway development plans in context of the country’s Vision 2030.
He explained that railway will play a major role in three aspects of development: a cost efficient means of moving goods & freight, a means of moving people as well as aligning with major ports and entry points to ensure seamless infrastructural connectivity.
He also explained in great detail the length and depth of coverage of the country’s three major railway lines including the Riyadh Dammam Line, North- South Project (connecting major heavy industry hubs for freight projects) and the 453-km long Haramain High Speed Railway (HHR) project linking the holy cities of Makkah and Madina.
Al Sultan also expressed SAR’s keen interest in working with the private sector to collaborate and partner in achieving success in multiple new projects. Of note were Public-Private Partnership (PPP) opportunities for the 340km double-track Yanbu to Jeddah connection (via King Abdullah Port) and the 40km double-track Riyadh to Riyadh connection and new Dry-Port (connecting SAR and SRO networks in Riyadh and New Dry Port to be situated outside of Riyadh).
He also mentioned that SAR will soon be floating tenders for the Riyadh-Dammam and the Land Bridge Project. The project consists of a 449km passenger line connecting Dammam and Riyadh passing through Al Ahsa and Abqaiq, a 546km freight line connecting King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam with Riyadh passing through Al Ahsa, Abqaiq, Al Kharj, Haradh and Al Tawdhiyah and a 400km sub line connecting industrial, agricultural and military sites with export ports and residential areas.
The Land Bridge extends from Jeddah to Riyadh with a total length of approximately 1,000km of double-track. It also connects with the GCC Railway Network.