SRO - Board of Directors discusses the latest developments in expansion
projects and new projects of the current year budget
The Board of Directors of Saudi Railway Organization held its first meeting for the fiscal year 1433/1434H at SRO's headquarter in Dammam. H.E the Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry chairman of SRO's board of Directors chaired the meeting. The meeting was attended by H.E the president of SRO Abdul Aziz Al Hokail, and the members of the Board. They discussed the issues listed on the agenda and reviewed the latest developments in expansion projects as well as the achievements of the Saudi Railways Commission (SRC) and the new projects approved in the budget of this year.
Commenting on the meeting, His Excellency - the President of SRO pointed out that the members received a detailed explanation about the progress of expansion projects, particularly the progress of phase 1 of the Haramain High Speed Rail project (HHSRP) involving civil works along the path from Makkah to Madinah via Jeddah as the work is currently underway for implementing a number of bridges and culverts.
Al Hokail added that the restructuring of bridges and relocation of utility installations on Al Haramain Road is a challenging task and the most important and difficult part of the project. More than 45 bridges, including the Pilgrim Terminal Bridge and the Air Base Bridge on Al Haramain Road have been completed while work is underway on 154 other bridges, in addition to 500 flood drainage culverts have been constructed.
As for the Package 2 of Phase 1 of HHR – (the Stations), Al Hokail explained that the work to construct the railway stations is progressing according the schedule, particularly after the sites handed over to the successful consortia. The Board members have been informed of the work progress at each station as well as any constraints faced by the project and try to overcome to ensure the implementation of the stations according to the schedule.
On the other hand, Al Hokail explained that the SRO recently signed the second phase of HHRP included the construction of railway tracks, installation of signaling, telecommunication, electrification system, the operational control centre, the procurement and manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock and the entire infrastructure for a period of 12 years. Al Hokail also added that the all phases of the project have been awarded and the works are in progress for the implementation as per the operational plan developed for the project.
For the Landbridge Project that will connect the Jeddah Islamic Port with the Dammam Port in addition to a link line to the land bridge from Yanbu with total length of 1,300 km, Al Hokail said SRO is preparing to invite contracts for implementing of this mega project. There is also a study under way for a link of the Landbridge with King Abdullah industrial port in Rabigh.
On the other hand, the Board reviewed the new projects approved in the SRO budget of the current fiscal year and the programs that have been developed in this budget. Al Hokail said that the budget allocations for the current year stressed development of rail projects of high performance with advanced safety systems and construction of alternative tracks in Ahsa apart from training the national work force to undertake railway responsibilities. He added that these projects will impact positively in strengthening the safety system in the installations and trains, on the basis of the priority given by the SRO for the safety of passengers and equipment, as SRO has recently introduced the latest technology in security and industrial safety, so as to detect technical and mechanical defects, monitor staff performance to reduce the impact of human error in accidents.
Moreover, the Board reviewed the achievements of the Saudi railways Commission (SRC) represented in granting safety certificate and operation license for Princess Noura University Automated People Mover and Al Mashaar (Holy sites) Metro., and the steps undertaken by the Commission in coordination with agencies that have railway projects to meet the requirements for obtaining an operating license and a safety certificate. The SRC is preparing to issue an operating license and safety certificate for North-South railway, implemented by Saudi Railway Company (SAR), and SRO upgrade, King Abdullah Financial District Monorail, Madinah metro, Makkah metro and HHR.
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