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A 1940s idea is well on its way to driving the Kingdom’s development

Riyadh — The idea of ​​establishing railways in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began in the 1940s when the need then arose to build a commercial port on the Gulf Coast to transport imported goods to Saudi Arabian warehouses. Oil Co. (Aramco).

The idea that Aramco suggested of establishing a railway from Dammam to Riyadh included the construction of a large commercial port that could accommodate large ships transporting equipment for the oil industry, in addition to the advantages of this port for the national economy.

When the idea was conveyed to the late King Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, he ordered the implementation of the entire project to reach Riyadh, where the implementation of the project began on October 21, 1947.

On October 20, 1951, the road was inaugurated in Riyadh in an official ceremony attended by the late King Abdulaziz and King Saud Bin Abdulaziz and several senior officials.

The railway remained operational under the supervision of Aramco for some time before its affiliation was changed to the Ministry of Finance and was called the Railway Authority.

A royal decree was issued on May 13, 1966, approving a constitutive act of the Saudi Railways Organization, under which the railway was transformed into a public institution with legal responsibility and governed by a board of directors. administration which defines its general policy according to commercial objectives. standards.

The year 2006 marked the launch, where the Public Investment Fund established the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to be responsible for the administration and operation of the railways, starting from the implementation and operation of the Train du Nord project.

In February 2021, the Cabinet issued a decision abolishing the Saudi Railways Organization and its Rules of Procedure and to be replaced by SAR effective April 1, 2021, where SAR will own the movable and immovable operational assets and the infrastructure for freight and passenger rail projects.

The SAR has three main networks: the Northern, the Eastern and the Haramain High Speed ​​Railway, in addition to administering all operations of the Holy Lands train with a total length of over 5,380 kilometers.

The railway serves five ports including two in Al-Jubail, King Abdulaziz Port in Al-Dammam, Dry Port in Riyadh and Ras Al-Kheir Port and two mines.

SAR also includes 15 passenger stations, 8 maintenance workshops and 15 handling yards, where it also operates 220 freight and passenger trains and transports more than three million passengers per year.

SAR was also ranked among the top three rail companies on the Global Rail Operator Safety Index published by the International Union of Railways in 2019, and won the British Safety Council’s 2020 International Safety Award for the second consecutive time. , in addition to having received the ISO45001 in the field of health and safety.

SAR also seeks to implement the sound strategic vision for the railway sector by benefiting from all the useful and advanced means, including the advanced communication tools, to serve the interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its economy and the well-being. to be citizens. — SPA