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.


Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih

Updated 18 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman holds talks with Iraq President Barham Salih

  • The king hosted a lunch and "discussed regional developments" with Saleh
  • An Iraqi official said Saleh was on an overnight visit at the invitation of King Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received Iraq's new President Barham Saleh on Sunday on his first official visit to the Kingdom.

The king hosted a lunch and "discussed regional developments" with Saleh, the official Saudi Press Agency said, after the Iraqi leader's arrival in Riyadh following a visit to Iran.

An Iraqi official said Saleh was on an overnight visit at the invitation of King Salman.

There have been several visits in recent months between the two countries as Iraq seeks closer ties with Saudi Arabia as it look to rebuild after the defeat of Daesh.

In October 2017, Saudi Arabian budget airline flynas made the first commercial flight from Riyadh to Baghdad in 27 years.

Saudi Arabia is keen to develop strong relations with Baghdad to counter Iranian influence in Iraq.