Wednesday, September 13, 2017

$2.6bn Saudi railway starts operations in December

Saudi Arabia will start operations on the country's longest railway, running 2,750-km between capital Riyadh and the northern city of Gurayat, on December 24. It is being built at a cost of SR10 billion ($2.66 billion), said a report.

Majority of the work has been completed including the construction of the support buildings along the length and breadth of the railway besides the main control and operation centre, 179 communication towers and signals, control systems, communication systems at stations and maintenance buildings, reported The Saudi Gazette.

One of the world’s longest railway lines, it will pass through Majmaa, Qassim, Hail, Al-Jouf regions of the kingdom.

There are six railway stations, each spread over 137,217 sq m area, with three floors: One for arrivals and another for departures while the third is for baggage collection, stated the report, citing a senior Saudi Railway Company (SAR) official.

There are zones for shops and restaurants, tourism service offices and rent-a-car service. Parking facilities at each station can accommodate 500 vehicles, he added.

According to him, two trains will be operating during the daytime and overnight.

The train that operates in the day will have a length of 280 m. It comprises two engines and nine coaches including three for business class passengers and four for economy class passengers. One coach each has been allocated for restaurant and baggage," explained the senior official.

“This train can carry 444 passengers and will run at a speed of 200 km/hour,” he added.

The 383-m-long night train will have 13 coaches including three for economy class, one for business class, three sleeping coaches, four coaches to transport cars, one coach each for fast food and baggage. It will accommodate 377 passengers and run at a speed of 160 km/hour, stated the official

"With the launch of this railway line, the dreams of people living in the kingdom’s northern regions will come true as the travel distance between Gurayat and Riyadh has now got shortened from 13 to eight hours," he added.

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