grand-plan.gifSaudi Arabia in on course to build rail link system under a project named as SAUDI LANDBRIDGE PROJECT .Upon completion which is expected in 2010, The Landbrigde Project will help to connect major cities of Saudi Arabia such as Jeddah, Riyadh , Dammam and Jubail. Ports in the Kingdom will also be linked via the new railway line. The Landbridge Project is planned to contruct over 1,000 km of new railway. The longest track will 950 km of new line between Riyadh and Jeddah followed by 115 km of new line between Dammam and Jubail. Existing line from Dammam to Riyadh (about 450 km) will only be upgraded with better standards and safety.

The new rail link will be crucial for Saudi Arabia economy because it will help to connect Jeddah which is a major transshipment hub on the Red Sea to Dammam which allows further shipment to Iran , Iraq , Kuwait , Qatar , and Bahrain. Shipments by sea will have to go around the Arabian peninsula which can take 5 to 7 days. With rail link, it will offer significant time savings compared to shipping by sea. With this reduced transit times, it will allow shipping companies to realize cost & service gains.

The other project which is being planned is Makkah and Madinah rail project. This railway project will primarily cover passenger service to accommodate annual pilgrimage.Approximately 2.5 million pilgrims during the Hajj period and 7.5 million Umrah visitors during the year and approximately 2 million Umrah visitors during the Ramadan season alone.High speed mass transit system is being planned to handle this heavy commuter traffic situation between Makkah & Jeddah.

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