Haramain railway between holy cities ready for inauguration soon

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The Haramain train at Jeddah station. Photo courtesy: (Video grab)
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Mr Nabeel Bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi, Minister of Transport. (Supplied)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Haramain railway between holy cities ready for inauguration soon

  • Protective materials were used to shield some components from sand and extreme temperatures in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Haramain high-speed railway running between Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah is in the final stages of operational testing before its inauguration, Minister of Transport Nabeel bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi said on Monday. “This 450-km rail facility will be soon open for the public,” he told Arab News.
Al-Amoudi, speaking on the sidelines of the rail Freight Solutions Forum, recently inspected station facilities and operational readiness of the track between the two holy cities, which can be covered in just 120 minutes. He said: “This investment will not only provide visiting Hajj and Umrah pilgrims with a first-class travel experience, but it will also boost economic development and create jobs.”
He said: “We have expansion plans and some master plans to be executed within the next few years. We are looking at the Saudi Land Bridge Project, which will connect Riyadh with Jeddah.”
The minister said that this project has been in the planning phase for some time. It is one of the biggest in the region, involving construction of 950 km of new line between Riyadh and Jeddah and another 115km track between Dammam and Jubail.
He said the Land Bridge project “will have a significant impact on the transport potential of the country.” With the construction of the Jeddah-Riyadh rail link, the time taken for passenger transport will be six hours instead of the current 10 to 12 using a bus, according to a report published recently. This project will adopt cutting-edge technology for the development of the new rail links.

Asked about the import of Greenbrier wagons from Poland, Al-Amoudi said: “We have received all the wagons, but not all of them are operational at the moment. They are going through the testing and commissioning phase.”
These wagons have been especially designed and produced for arid conditions. Protective materials were used to shield some components from sand and extreme temperatures in the Kingdom.


King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

Millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi national day on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 23 September 2018
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King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed ‘lend new dimension to unification’

  • More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Day, celebrated every year on Sept. 23, has come a long way in broadening the concept of unification over the years.
Though the National Day meant unifying disparate sheikhdoms under the nation’s founder, the late King Abdul Aziz, its implications across the political, socioeconomic and cultural spectrum have not been lost on successive rulers.
It was King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who fine-tuned the definition of unification as an operating philosophy. This is why millions of citizens plan to celebrate the Saudi National Day on the streets on Sunday.
The capital city, along with other Saudi cities, will witness fireworks and the unfurling of the largest national flag. More than 900,000 fireworks will light up the sky from 58 locations across the Kingdom.
Car owners, limousine drivers and young Saudi motorcyclists said that they planned to go for drives, particularly on the fashionable streets of the capital city, to celebrate. Grocery shops, stationery shops and vendors were selling bunting, flags, banners and pictures of national heroes.
“We went around the city to see the lighting and fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a local pharmacist. “Green and white balloons fill either sides of Riyadh streets,” he said.
In his National Day congratulatory message, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said: “The wise policy of the leaders of this country contributed to peace, security and stability.”
Fakhr Al-Shawaf, chief executive of Al-Bawani Contracting Co., said: “We are celebrating the 88th anniversary of our unification, a day when the late King Abdul Aziz established the Saudi nation.”
Ali Al-Othaim, a member of Riyadh Chamber’s board of directors, said: “The Kingdom is on the path of comprehensive economic and social development under Vision 2030.”
Shafik Namdar, a taxi driver, said that he had bought an SR10 flag for his car and planned to work and also drive with his friends to look at the city and its landmark buildings.
Several young boys, including Arslan, 12, and Mishal, 14, said that they had bought bunting, badges and flags to decorate their houses. They planned to celebrate with a special meal at home with relatives, before going into the city streets for dance and music. Some of them had plans to organize celebrations in public parks.