The Project of Southern lines
Saudi Railways Organization recently entered into a contract with an engineering Consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study of establishing railways in the southern region, the study will include the number of passengers and transport volumes expected on these lines as well as cost estimates.
The engineering consultancy firm has concluded the first phase of the study, which included the suggestion of several alternatives to the route of the lines, taking into account the necessary design criteria for of these lines, slants, and curves, which must not be ignored in the implementation of the project, and these lines,? are:
Taif - Khamis Mushayt –Abha Line
This line links Al-Taif with the land bridge on one side and Abha and Khamis Mushayt, on the other side. The length of this line is 706 km. Studies have shown that the number of passengers expected in 2012 on this line will be between 726,000 to 1.276.000 passengers and between 1.251.000 to 2.200.000 passengers in the year of 2025.In 2012, It is expected for this line to convey what is estimated between 514,000 to 743,000 tons, and 1.035.000 and 1.500.000 tons in 2025.
Jeddah and Jizan Line
This line is 660 Km connects Jizan region with the city of Jeddah. Studies have indicated that the number of passengers in 2012 on this line will be between 884,000 to 1.134.000 passengers. In 2025, it is expected to reach between 1.525.000 to 1.956.000 passengers.
The rising economic growth promotes the importance of this line for Jizan region. As expected share of railway transport in the area is estimated at 5.5% annually, based on the amount of cargo on the same track in 2012 which is expected to be between 1.210.000 to 1.583.000 tons, while in 2025, the anticipated figure is between 2,438 .000 and 3.191.000 tons. Studies have identified the track of this line to be parallel to the coastal public road, which serves several major roads as well as Jizan economic region.
Yanbu –Jeddah Line
The construction of a railway line between Jeddah and Yanbu is expected to contribute in linking the areas of the Kingdom with each other where this line will be connected with the land bridge linked with the rest of the railway network.
A recent study for Yanbu free trade zone has shown that linking Yanbu with the land bridge will participate directly in the development of Yanbu City and King Abdullah Economic City in addition to the expected financial revenues that make it economically profitable project.
This line will serve primarily the industrial movement. At present, the petrochemical products are transferred from the industrial city of Yanbu via a key road to the city of Jeddah to be exported through Jeddah Islamic seaport where 15,500 tons per day transferred across the land road by using trucks to a distance of 350 km, the quantities of transport is expected to increase.
In 2005 the number of containers (size of 20 feet) - used for the transport of petrochemical products produced by the Yanbu Industrial City and nearby cities- to about 179,000 containers, while this number is expected to grow up to 281,000 TEUs in 2015.