Saudi Railway Organisation will announce the advisor for the 350-km Yanbu –Jeddah railway project, as the tender was launched last week, said Rumaih Al Rumaih, the President of the Public Transport Authority and the President of the Saudi Railway Organization. The project involves a railway connection from Yanbu to the Industrial City and Abdullah Port, connecting the existing Damman-Riyadh line and the Northern Line. In addition, a new dry port will be constructed.
According to Rumaih, the feasibility studies are completed, and they are bankable. “We are working on the documents to hire the advisors that will elaborate the PPP package,” Rumaih said.
This Yanbu –Jeddah line will serve primarily the industrial transport. Currently, the petrochemical products are transferred from the industrial city of Yanbu via a key road to the city of Jeddah to be exported through Jeddah Islamic seaport where 15,500 tonnes per day transferred across the land road by using trucks to a distance of 350 km, the quantities of transport is expected to increase. The construction of a railway line between Jeddah and Yanbu is expected to contribute in linking the areas of the Kingdom with each other where this line will be connected with the land bridge linked with the rest of the railway network.
In addition, in the future, a 1150-km line – the Land Bridge, will be implemented which will link Riyadh and Jeddah. The SRO representative said that for this project, a Memorandum of Understanding with a state-owned Chinese company was signed and an agreement on construction works and project’s financing may be signed to complete the project.
Regarding to Riyadh Metro, Rumaih Al Rumaih said that the project is 77% the 176-km network is completed. In the late 2019 or early 2020, the commercial operation will be launched on the first phase of the project.
Saudi Arabia intends to intensively localize the railway industry. The Saudi Railway Polytechnic in Buraidah, Qassim region, provides training programmes to the Saudi students, including train driving, maintenance and control systems, maintenance of locomotives, station and passenger services, and maintenance of infrastructure.