Railway service linking Riyadh to northern regions soon to open

The North-South Railway will start from Al-Qurrayat and terminate in Riyadh. (AN photo)
Updated 20 February 2017

Railway service linking Riyadh to northern regions soon to open

RIYADH: The North-South Railway will be launched on Feb. 26, the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) announced recently.
The new train service will be available only for passenger service, which will allow commuters to travel.
The railway line is 1,250 km long and the train will start from Al-Qurrayat and pass through Al-Jouf, Hail and Al-Qassim regions and terminates in Riyadh with extensions to Hazm Al-Jalamid to haul phosphate, and to Al-Zubayrah to haul bauxite. It will also travel to Ras Al-Zour on the Gulf where a major port will be constructed to export these and other mineral ores.
The train will have 12 cars with allocated places for the disabled in three places, along with three small praying areas, which can be transformed into disabled areas if necessary.
During a trial run from Riyadh to Majmah in October, Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal Bin Bandar said the project is feasible both at the economic and security levels as it will save lives by protecting them against the hazards of commuting by car.
Prince Faisal said the project was implemented following years of feasible study. The train is to be operated and serviced by Saudis in the area of command and control, and in the hospitality industry. The SRO sent Saudis on scholarships to learn how to operate trains.
“We are proud of our young Saudis who will drive this train,” Prince Faisal said. “SRO has worked from the beginning to send Saudi citizens abroad to learn how to operate the train.”
He noted that the Kingdom is vast, which requires such service projects, particularly in the transport sector. He called on citizens to be patient, especially since the Kingdom is on the verge of a big change and looks forward to huge development works.
Minister of Transport Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, who is also the Chairman of the SRO, said out the launch of passenger transport on this track. The train will raise the level of safety and reduce accident rates on the roads; as well it will provide transport alternative between the central and northern by air and ground.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.