Haramain train to make dry run soon, says transport minister

Updated 18 July 2015
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Haramain train to make dry run soon, says transport minister

JEDDAH: Transport Minister Abdullah Al-Muqbil, who is chairman of the board of the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO), revealed that electricity has been connected through overhead lines for the Haramain High-Speed Railway network.
Al-Muqbil said the train has been tested on the line with a gradual speed of 300 km/h. Tests will continue for a few months until the efficiency of the train is verified. The minister expected King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and Madinah to be linked to the railway line at the end of 2015.
Sources quoted by the local media said that the Haramain railway station in Jeddah has some work yet to be completed, but progress in Makkah is ahead of schedule.
The project includes the establishment of railway lines between Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah — with a total length of 450 km — with signals and modern communications systems.
The SRO provides express trains with state-of-the-art technology. Train stations will be established in Central Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.
Haramain train represents one of the important elements in the executive program to expand the railway network in the Kingdom, and it is considered urgent due to the growing number of Umrah and Haj pilgrims and visitors who come to Makkah and Madinah throughout the year.
Al-Muqbil said earlier that ticket prices have been discussed and will be set to suit everyone according to studies and analyzes offered by specialists. He said there will be two passenger classes, first class and hospitality.


Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

Updated 23 min 44 sec ago
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Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

  • Finance representatives of 150 government bodies meet for the Budget Forum 2020

RIYADH: Saudi finance chiefs have kicked off a major conference in the capital aimed at mapping out the Kingdom’s budget requirements.
Around 300 specialists representing 150 government bodies met at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh for the Budget Forum 2020.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan welcomed delegates to the second edition of the gathering organized by the Saudi Finance Ministry under the slogan “Partnership and Empowerment.”
Al-Jadaan said the ministry was focused on “partnership and commitment,” and sought to share the challenge of developing an effective budget to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious goals.
“We are also committed to empowering financial leaderships to learn about the ministry’s programs and projects and provide training and qualification opportunities to the best international standards,” he added.
The finance chief said the budget planning process required the collaboration of multiple authorities and a clear strategy based on transparency. 
Items up for discussion at the forum included financial planning in governmental bodies, automation, and the promotion of revenues and efficient spending.
Finance Ministry steering committee chairman, Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Freih, stressed the importance of the forum in getting the ball rolling at an early stage on formulating a general state budget.
Workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference focused on empowering government organizations, and a training program on financial planning and income estimations was also staged.