Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has ordered the linking of the new Hazm Al-Jalameed-Ras Al-Zour rail with Dammam through Jubail Industrial City, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said Friday.
The 1,392-km railway line between Hazm Al-Jalameed, Northern Border Province, where phosphate mines are situated, and the industrial center of Ras Al-Zour, Eastern Province, was opened in May. The railway also passes through the mining areas in the provinces of Jouf, Hail and Qassim. The Saudi Railway Company (SAR) completed the new rail line in May, according to "Arab news” newspaper.
SAR also plans to link Riyadh with Haditha, on the border with Jordan, with the construction of another line.
“The king’s order for a railway link is of vital importance for the development of the Kingdom’s economy,” said Al-Assaf, who is also chairman of the Public Investment Fund, which owns SAR.
The factories in a number of industrial cities in the north and central regions of the country will be linked with eastern industrial ports on the Gulf.
Assuring full cooperation to implement the plan, SAR Chairman Mansour Al-Miman, said: “The new rail will connect the major industrial facilities in Jubail, Ras Al-Zour and Northern Border Province with King Fahd Industrial Port and Commercial Port in Jubail and the King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam. It will also enable passengers to travel between Riyadh, Dammam, Jubail and Ras Al-Zour.”
The SAR originally planned to construct a 2,400-km railroad with two major lines, Al-Miman added.
“While the first line to link mineral centers in the north with industrial centers on the Arabian Gulf has already been completed, the second line is meant for passengers and general goods movement between Riyadh with Haditha city bordering Jordan and passing through Sudair, Qassim, Hail and Al-Jouf,” he said.
He added that the second line would also have a branch line to Al-Basita for the movement of farm products. There are railway stations planned for Majama, Qassim, Hail, Al-Jouf and Qurayyat in addition to nine stations for goods movement. The other major railway work currently under way in the Kingdom is the SR42-billion Haramain Railway for high-speed rail between Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.