Saudi Arabia approves $7bn Landbridge rail project

12 October 2011 (Last Updated October 12th, 2011 18:30)

Saudi Arabia approved a $7bn plan to build a freight and passenger railway connecting its western port of Jeddah with the eastern ports of Dammam and Jubail.

Saudi Arabia has approved a $7bn plan to build a freight and passenger railway connecting its western port of Jeddah with the eastern ports of Dammam and Jubail.

The project involves construction of 945km of new railway between Jeddah and Riyadh - increasing the capacity on the existing 45km Riyadh-Dammam line - as well as consturuction of a 115km link between Dammam and the North-South line at Jubail.

The new line will mainly be used for transport of containers and initially it will transport 700,000 containers at a speed of 120km/h, covering the coast-to-coast journey in 18 hours compared with five to seven days by sea.

After the construction of the Jeddah-Riyadh rail link, the journey time for passengers will come down to six hours instead of the current 10 to 12 hours by bus.