Saudi Railway Company (SAR) has opened a fourth station on the Northern Railway network at Hail city.
Two more stations, one in Jouf and the other in Qurayyat, will be opened under the next phases, which are scheduled for completion in 2018.
The train station at Hail, the fourth to be opened this year, consists of a food court, a services area with commercial stores, car rental offices, travel agency offices, a post office, two platforms, and a mosque for 300 worshippers.
The trains running on this route will have a capacity to accommodate 444 passengers and comprise two locomotives and nine carriages – four in the economy class, three in the business class, a food carriage and a luggage carriage.
The launch of the Hail operations is part of the second phase of SAR’s passenger service expansion. The company launched services between Riyadh, Majmaah and Qassim in February 2017.
Built at a cost of $2.72bn, the Northern Railway covers 2,750km, the longest in Saudi Arabia.
SAR chief executive Bashar Al Malek said: “We have designed the train station keeping in mind operational efficiency. It consists of three floors with a total area of 137,217 sqm and has two separate lounges for arrivals and departures.”
Minister for Transport Al-Amoudi said the train service will contribute to the Kingdom’s economic growth, as it will attract new investors to the region.
Hail Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary-general and economic analyst Ali Al-Ammash said the train station will have a positive impact on the region’s economy.
“With the opening of the train station, consumers will have a variety of transportation options. Hail will gain credentials as a strategic location for investments. The shipment, storage, and light and heavy transportation services will improve. The train station is also connected to Hail airport and the city’s downtown area,” said Al-Ammash.