Freight

Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) has signed a $32.8m contract with a subsidiary of China Railway Construction for the renewal of a 78.4km freight line between Dammam and Riyadh.

The 21-month contract will upgrade the line for an axle load of 32.5t and is expected to improve the operational capacity of SRO.

SRO president Mohamed Khalid Al-Suwaiket said that SRO is keen to increase its share of the freight market as it was safer and economical while cutting pollution levels.

Al-Suwaiket added that the contract is part of SRO’s efforts made to upgrade and develop the efficiency of the existing railway network, as well as the SRO’s transport fleet of wagons, locomotives and new regulations to achieve the standards that have been agreed for the transport by train within the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The project is aimed at providing better transportation facilities to private sector companies.

"The contract is part of SRO’s efforts made to upgrade and develop the efficiency of the existing railway network."

SRO recently signed a $104m contract with a local company for doubling the first phase of freight mainline from Dammam to Riyadh.

The 24-month contract will cover a length of 214km, which will pass by Abqaiq, Al Hasa, Harad and Al Kharj.

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The doubled line will have a speed capacity of 150km/h as the SRO plans to operate passenger trains initially between Hofuf and Harad in the first stage and then to Al Kharj.

The line between Riyadh and Al Kharj will be doubled in the second phase for which the company is completing the bidding documents.

The second phase of doubling includes fencing, bridges, signalling and communications system for transporting passengers and cargo.


Image: The 21-month contract is expected to improve the operational capacity of SRO. Photo: courtesy of Saudi Railways Organization.