The transport sector in Saudi Arabia is greatly weighed by the railway system by the completion of several projects and more developments under new plans are under consideration. The local as well as the foreign investors get attracted to the opportunities available in the Kingdom.
Different sections of the country have gone through the expansion plans and several regions are undergoing the initiatives taken by the government. An estimated budget of the plans already completed is SR 50 billion. Moreover, by the year 2040, a huge sum of SR 365 billion is planned to be invested in the coming railway expansion projects that come under the Saudi Arabia’s Railway Master Plan (SRMP). The flourishing economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia especially because of the tourism sector has motivated the investors to empower the railway infrastructure.
The main objective is to link together all the part of Saudi Arabia to meet the expected rise in the passengers up to 3.37 million who travel by rail, by no later than 2014. While for the transportation of export goods to the Gulf, the largest freight rail project called the North-South railway would also be functional by 2014. Owned by the Saudi Railway Company (SAR), the North-South railway will transport 10.35 million tons of mineral products.
The accomplished Haramain High Speed rail project has been put up specifically for the ease of pilgrims as through this rail they will be able to move to and from the holy cities of Makkah and Medina passing Jeddah and Rabigh. This project comes under the government-owned Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) with an estimated cost of SR 51.5 billion covering the two phases of the project.
The pressing problems of unemployment and the immigrants from the rural areas of the Kingdom seem to get solved through the development of transport sector, as it will open job opportunities of working within the railway stations and the availability of transport to the people of rural areas will ease them up letting them not migrate to other cities. The investors in close coordination with the Ministry of Railway see it positively boosting the country’s economy as well as industrial growth and agricultural production.