Riyadh-Dammam rail service resumes


Saudi Gazette report

The Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) resumed its trips on Sunday with two passenger trains on its Riyadh-Dammam line. The first trip took 143 passengers from the capital Riyadh to Dammam, with over 99 percent of the seats occupied according to a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report. The return trip took 118 passengers from Dammam to Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia resumed passenger railway travel on Sunday as it eases out of lockdown restrictions on movement aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

SRO is one of Saudi Arabia’s two state-owned railways companies, the other being the Saudi Railway Company (SAR). SRO operates two main lines: the 449-km Riyadh-Dammam passenger line, and a freight line that connects Dammam port with Riyadh.

SAR operates the North-South line that connects Riyadh to the Kingdom’s northern border with Jordan via the city of Hail. SAR also resumed its services on Sunday.

The move comes as the Kingdom entered the second stage of its plan to ease gradually out of lockdown. Travel across provincial borders in a private car had been permitted since Thursday, but on Sunday it was expanded to include any means of transport. The government also lifted the suspension on domestic flights.