Governor inaugurates Hail train station, commercial operations to start next Sunday

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Updated 23 November 2017

Governor inaugurates Hail train station, commercial operations to start next Sunday

JEDDAH: Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saad bin Abdul Aziz, governor of Hail region, inaugurated the Hail city train station on Wednesday.

The event was attended by Deputy Minister of Transport Saad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Khaleb; the chairman of the Public Transport Authority, Dr. Ramih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih; the CEO of the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) Dr. Bashar bin Khaled A-Malik; members of the region's council and the Hail Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Following the opening, the prince toured the terminal including the ticket sales office and cargo area. He visited the passenger inspection area and viewed the equipment used for this purpose, also the departure lounge, the business class lounge, and the arrival hall.

The official entourage took the passenger train on a pilot run to announce the inauguration of service, which will be officially launched on November 26.

On this occasion, Al-Malik expressed his pleasure to inaugurate the Hail station as a new phase of the transport services in the city, and confirmed that the pilot tour proved the readiness of the train for the scheduled trips starting next Sunday.

He pointed out that there are three weekly trips for the passenger train to/from Hail station on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays every week, adding that "increasing the trips will be reconsidered whenever necessary."

The CEO of SAR said: "SAR customers will enjoy many services like being able to cancel bookings through the website or smartphone applications, and viewing ticket prices which are affordable for everyone, especially those who make early reservations."

SAR has updated the trips schedule at its four stations in Riyadh, Al-Majmaa, Qassim, and Hail. Trips will depart from Riyadh at 9:30a.m. on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

The departure time of the train from Hail station will be at 3:25p.m., and it will reach its final destination in Riyadh at 8:11 p.m.

SAR integrated the first phase of the passenger transport service on February 26, and the company, which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund, aims to increase its operational efficiency.

The length of the railway is about 1,250 km from Riyadh to Al-Qurayyat in the far north of the Kingdom. Six passenger stations are distributed along the rail in Riyadh, Majmah, Qassim, Hail, Jouf, and Al-Qurayyat.

The station consists of three floors including separate halls for departures and arrivals, with the former equipped with a baggage area. The station also has a dining area, shops, tourist services offices, car rental offices and a post office, in addition to two platforms for passengers and a mosque that will accommodate 300 worshipers.

SAR has two types of passenger trains: day and night. Each day train consists of two locomotives and nine carriages — four economy class, three business class carriages, and one for catering services, in addition to a cargo carriage.

The long-distance night trains scheduled to depart from Riyadh to Al-Jouf comprise two locomotives and 13 carriages — three for economy class, one for business class, three for sleeping cabins, four auto train carriages, catering and cargo carriages. Each train accommodates 377 passengers.

White House adviser Jared Kushner: Saudi Arabia is 'important ally'

Updated 22 October 2018

White House adviser Jared Kushner: Saudi Arabia is 'important ally'

WASHINGTON: Speaking about Saudi Arabia's investigation into the case of the late Jamal Khashoggi, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said that the Trump administration is still in "fact-finding phase."

"We're getting facts in from multiple places and once those facts come in, the secretary of state will work with our national security team to help us determine what we want to believe, and what we think is credible and what we think is not credible," Kushner said on Monday

"We have our eyes wide open. The president's focused on what's good for America, what are our strategic interests, where do we share interests with other countries let's work towards those," he added.

Kushner stressed that Saudi Arabia was an "important ally" of the US, and a "critical partner," especially in countering Iran's influence in the Middle East.

Kushner also said he had spoken to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about the case.