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Dammam to Riyadh by rail is for everybody who knows the region a dream of all times.  To bring it to reality, Saudi Rail signs $4bn deal for the route development.

On 28 March 2015, Saudi Railways Organisations (SRO) has signed a deal for SR16.02 billion ($4.3 billion) with a branch of China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) in Saudi Arabia for the second phase of a main freight route between Dammam and Riyadh which stretches to about 91-km long, said a report.

The 23-month contract is aimed at enhancing SRO’s operational capacity to meet the growing private sector demand for transportation by train, Mohamed Khalid Al Suwaiket, president of SRO, was quoted as saying, in the Saudi Gazette report.

Under the second phase, the technical specifications have been enhanced to enable the track to handle freight trains with axle loads of 325 tonnes, it said.

The SRO is keen to increase its share of the freight market emphasising the advantages of transport by train in terms of safety and security compared to other modes of transportation,while also benefiting the national economy as rail transport can help reduce road accidents and road maintenance costs while cutting environmental pollution.

It also aims to meet the growing demand for rail transport by private sector companies, said the report.

The contract is part of SRO ‘s efforts to upgrade and develop the efficiency of the existing railway network as well as its fleet of wagons, locomotives and conform with new regulations to meet the standards that have been agreed for the transport by train within the GCC countries, it added.

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