Saudi rail chiefs reveal expansion plans for freight, passengers

SAR has ambitious plans for an expanded passenger network. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 11 September 2018

Saudi rail chiefs reveal expansion plans for freight, passengers

  • The Saudi Railway Company (SAR) moved 9 million tons of freight last year
  • SAR has plans for an expanded passenger network

RIYADH: Saudi rail chiefs plan to turn the Kingdom into a global logistics hub with an expanded network of commercial and industrial freight services.

The Saudi Railway Company (SAR) already moved 9 million tons of freight last year, delegates to a forum in Riyadh were told. Compared with other means of transport, trains have a lower carbon footprint, cost less, are more reliable and have lower manpower requirements, the forum heard.

“The railway sector is witnessing qualitative growth with added focus on freight,” said Saudi Transport Minister Nabeel bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi. 

“Conditions have been put in place for rail freight to unleash its enormous potential and increase its attractiveness to customers.”

SAR also has ambitious plans for an expanded passenger network, its Chief Executive Bashar Khaled Almalik told Arab News at the forum. “We are growing and growing,” he said.

“We have several projects under construction including a connection to Jubail Industrial City and another to Ras Al-Khair, where we have gone up to the northern borders.

“We are also looking to build the connection between the two networks here in Riyadh and move on, depending on the demands and the needs of our customers.”

Transport Minister Al-Amoudi added: “We have expansion plans and some master plans to be executed within next few years. We are looking at the Saudi Land Bridge Project, which will connect Riyadh with Jeddah.”


Islamic, European officials plan support for Sudan

Updated 19 July 2019

Islamic, European officials plan support for Sudan

JEDDAH: Support for Sudan in the wake of a new deal on civilian rule was among items discussed during a meeting between leading Islamic and European officials in Saudi Arabia.
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, received Finnish foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, in Jeddah. Finland currently holds the rotational presidency of the Council of the EU.
Al-Othaimeen and Haavisto had a constructive exchange of views on common issues with particular focus on Sudan after civilian and military leaders signed an agreement aimed at installing a civilian administration.
The deal came after three months of deadlock since Omar Bashir was deposed as president, and the two officials discussed ways to back Khartoum in its transitional phase.
The secretary-general commended the role of Finland and the EU in promoting peace, security, stability and development in different parts of the world and expressed the OIC’s readiness to engage in issues of mutual interest.
Haavisto praised the role of the OIC in promoting the culture of peace, dialogue and understanding, noting the organization’s vast experience in leading peace building initiatives among its member states in collaboration with other partners.