Friday 15 July 2016

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is preparing to launch a new train network as the Saudi Arabia Railway company (SAR) completes the infrastructure for linking the capital Riyadh with Qurayyat in the northern region of Jouf.

This comes 65 years after the launch of the first railway that linked Riyadh and Dammam, which was opened by the country's founder King Abdul Aziz in 1951.

The SAR passenger train succeeded in the operational stages to reach the speed of 136 km/h on Wednesday, while the experimental operational process was done in the northern Hail area in order to reach the maximum speed of 200 km/h.

The train aims to serve the people of the northern regions who are eagerly awaiting its launch. It will shorten the time of the trip to Riyadh by more than half, at just eight hours.

SAR has two types of passenger trains: the diurnal and the nocturnal. Currently, three trains are being trialled. The diurnal trains can accommodate 444 people and consist of two engine carriages and nine seating areas, including four economy-class carriages, three carriages for business class, one restaurant carriage, and one for the transportation of luggage. The total length of the train is 280 meters.

The nocturnal trains can accommodate 377 people and consist of two engine carriages and 13 passenger cars, including three for economy classes, one for business class, three sleeping carriages, four car transportation carriages, one restaurant, and one luggage section. The length of the train stands at 380 meters.

© Arab News 2016