JEDDAH: The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) signed a tram design agreement with the leading French transportation company SYSTRA on July 2 to advance the AlUla tram project, which will connect the governorate to a number of stations, tracks, routes, landmarks and historical heritage sites.
The tram project aims to enhance the sustainability of AlUla transportation by reducing road congestion and noise levels. It also aims to make effective use of sustainable electric energy and a link between centers, neighborhoods, heritage sites and tourist sites.
Amr Al-Madani, CEO of RCU, said in a TV interview: “AlUla has proven that it is at the center of everyone’s attention, and planning in AlUla affects financial, environmental, and energy sustainability as well.
“Thus, the tram will be part of the solution, not only because it will rely on electric power but also because it will reduce the need to use vehicles that are used to reach sites in the desert, which do not provide a pleasant transportation experience and are environmentally harmful.”
The tram track extends for 50 km, starting from AlUla International Airport in the south to Hegra City in the north. Tram carts feature designs inspired by the natural and historical heritage of AlUla, securing the governorate’s vision of transforming the city into the largest living museum in the world and a global tourism destination.
AlUla is known for its stunning natural and desert landmarks such as Hegra, the old town, Al-Diwan, Ikmah, and the Lion Tombs of Dadan. The tram will augment the tourist experience that celebrates the beauty of the natural environment.
The tram project has been divided into several tracks, such as the northern “Red” track, which connects the most prominent landmark areas and archaeological sites. It allows easy movement between the various main sites specified in “The Journey Through Time” scheme.
The first phases of the tram design are expected to be completed by 2023. The second phase will extend to the south of the governorate with an additional 33 km of track that will reach the airport, consolidating AlUla’s position as a prominent transportation hub.
The French Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ludovic Pouille posted a message on his official Twitter account commenting on the news: “Congratulations for the Commission and for SYSTRA.”
The RCU tweeted: “AlUla was the meeting point for convoys throughout history, where its routes connecting the trips were drawn... Today, we are establishing a new stage by signing the contract of #Ula_tram, design in a step that enhances achieving the comprehensive development of the governorate.”