The Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) is working on a SR365 billion (£58bn) strategic plan for developing the railway network in the Kingdom and implementing several projects to interlink the country's provinces by the year 2040.
The main objective of the Saudi Railway Master Plan 2010 - 2040 (SRMP) is to have a conceptual framework in place for the long term development of a future passenger and freight transport network for the Kingdom spanning 9,900km with 19 lines.
The lines are at various development levels and shall be implemented in the following three stages of development: First Level Projects (high priority): development stage 1 from 2010 – 2025 approximate length: 5,500 km; Second Level Projects (medium priority): development stage 2 from 2026 – 2033 approximate length: 3,000 km; Third Level Projects (minor priority): development stage 3 from 2034 – 2040 approximate length: 1,400 km.
The Haramain high speed railway and a north-south line are currently under construction, and a line connecting Jeddah to Riyadh is set to begin soon. Work on the railway link between Gulf countries is also expected to commence soon.
Muhammad Al-Suwaiket, SRO president, said the state-owned organisation is working to rectify the poor performance of lines between Dammam and Al-Ahsa through Abqaiq by redeveloping internal departments.
“The organization seeks to maintain passenger safety and build a good reputation by implementing plans over the next 20 years to cover all major cities of the Kingdom,” he said.
“We will review and redesign training programs for operating trains with the help of international, specialized institutions. The huge GCC railway project will start from Kuwait and go through the Kingdom, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, ending in Oman.