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SRO chief signs SR391m contract.

A freight train at Riyadh railway station.


Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) President Mohamed Al-Suwaiket has signed a contract for SR391.49 million with a local company to build the 214 km first phase of doubling the freight mainline from Dammam to Riyadh passing by Abqaiq, Hasa, Harad and Al-Kharj.

The 24-month contract aims to enhance SRO's operational capacity to meet the growing private sector demand for transportation by train.

Al-Suwaiket said the SRO is keen to increase its share of the freight market emphasizing the advantages of movement by train in terms of safety and security as well as significant benefits to the national economy.

He said rail transport could help reduce accidents on the roads and road maintenance costs while cutting environmental pollution.

"The project will enable SRO to achieve significant operational benefits particularly reducing the journey time of the freight trains thorough increased speed, avoiding sidings, increasing the number of trips, running longer trains as well as meeting the growing demand for rail transport by private sector companies such as ARASCO, Cement Co, Al Belha Co, GEERCO and GSFMO," he said.

The design speed of the doubled line is 150 km/h as the SRO's new approach is to run passenger trains between Hofuf and Harad ( first stage) and then to Al-Kharj at a later stage.

The passenger trains will take employees and students between Hofuf and Harad as well as neighboring residential areas and villages.

Al-Suwaiket says the SRO is currently working on completing the bidding documents for the second phase of the project which is doubling the line between Riyadh and Al-Kharj including fencing , bridges, signaling and communications system.

The SRO achieved a record last year in transporting containers by train from King Abdul Aziz Sea Port in Dammam to Riyadh Dry Port.

The number of containers transported reached 535,264 TEU (more than 3 million tons) which is the highest in the history of the SRO.

In addition, SRO has transported more than a million tons of goods for private sector companies, equivalent to that transported by over half a million of trucks on the road.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Aug 8, 2014
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