Jeddah to get a metro system
Another rail project for Saudi Arabia was announced today, a day after plans for Riyadh to get a new mega-rail station. The new rail project will be for the city of Jeddah, that will see a metro train network constructed, similar to the one in Dubai.
The Jeddah metro is the latest metro project in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom already has one under construction in Riyadh.
According to an announcement from Abdul Aziz Al-Ouhali, undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport, preliminary studies into the feasibility of the planned 108km network have already been completed and approved. Construction will commence after further planning is completed by the Jeddah municipality and the Ministry of Transport. This is expected to take 15 months.
Initial reports on the Jeddah metro are brief, but the first track on the network is expected to run from Old Makkah Road to downtown, before finishing at Sari Road. A second track will run along Prince Majed Street from King Abdul Aziz International Airport, while the third will run along Palestine Road.
Easing congestion and improving infrastructure
Speaking to Gulf News, Al-Ouhali said that during the second phase of the Jeddah metro project, tracks will be laid along King Abdul Aziz Road to the Corniche.
It is hoped that as in Dubai, the Jeddah metro will improve transport links across the Kingdom and convince the general population to give up their cars and use public transport. Saudi Arabia, like parts of the UAE, has a huge problem with congestion and it is hoped that metro systems such as the ones planned for Riyadh and Jeddah will help to ease this.
Other parts of the region are also doing likewise with Qatar and Bahrain planning one of the most ambitious projects, combining both rail and metro lines. This rail network is set to transform the emirate into a major transport hub.
The project, which is rumoured to be costing over US$36.6 billion (QR133.5 billion) and estimated to take six years, is expected to be finished in phases over the next six years, with three major sections being the focus of the scheme - the metro network within Greater Doha, the over-ground railways covering the whole of Qatar and then, linking it to the rest of the GCC region and cargo trains.
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