SAR launches Riyadh-Qassim railway line

The Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC) is currently training 230 Saudi youths for employment in the railway sector.
Updated 01 March 2017
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SAR launches Riyadh-Qassim railway line

RIYADH: The Saudi Railway Co. (SAR) launched on Sunday a 1,250-km railway line to transport passengers during two journeys daily between Riyadh and the Qassim region.
The railway line is the first stage of the project. SAR plans to operate the full railway line, but in its first phase it will go through three stations and then extend to six stops, according to local media.
Tickets were fixed at promotional prices of SR20 ($5.30) and SR40 ($10.60) for children and adults, respectively.
The railway line will eventually link the capital city of Riyadh with Al-Haditha land port at the Saudi-Jordanian border.
The line will then be linked with the Riyadh-Dammam railway line, which came into operation in 1951.
SAR will operate six railway cars, but will begin with two in the first stage to transport a maximum of 444 passengers in one journey.
Rimaih Al-Rimaih, head of public transport and supervisor at SAR, said the new project is the biggest in the Middle East and a key component in transporting citizens and residents between cities and regions of the Kingdom.
SAR is owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the investment arm of the Ministry of Finance.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Railway Polytechnic (SRP) announced recently that 230 Saudi youths are currently undergoing training for employment in the railways sector. Trainees include the 88 young Saudi men who joined 142 others who had been undergoing training at the SRP facility in Buraidah.
The training facility is being operated by the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC) in partnership with SAR.
Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Sugair, SRP general manager, said trainees will help meet the Kingdom’s labor market needs for young people qualified to work in the local railway sector.


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 19 min 46 sec ago

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject