Saudi Arabia is expected to invest $45bn to upgrade and expand railway networks across the kingdom, experts forecast. Among the projects receiving investment are the Saudi Landbridge, the North-South Rail line, the Haramain High Speed Railway, the Riyadh Light Railway and the Mecca Metro. In total 7000km of track is to undergo development.
These measures will establish an extensive commuter rail network in Saudi Arabia able to successfully serve an estimated 3.38 million passengers by 2014. The rail networks will be equipped with the latest in comfort, CCTV security and 4G communication technology which will allow travellers to use mobile phones and onboard broadband internet to communicate with home and office. The wireless network will also afford railway operators the ability to share information on journey updates, security issues and the live status of passengers and trains.
The new Saudi railway will form part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Railway project, ready in 2017, which will link 6 Gulf states and provide a substantial trade boost.
Saudi Railway Company's Project Director, Dr Bashar K. AlMalik, and Senior Advisor to the Gulf Cooperation Council's Secretary General, Dr Ramiz Al Assar will be among the speakers at International Rail Infrastructure and Technology Summit (IRITS) 2013. Dr Al Assar will also take part in procurement meetings at the event, taking place in Berlin on 6-8 November 2013. For further information visit www.irits.org.