This Day in History (1979): New Train Put in Service for Dammam-Riyadh Run
Nearly 28 years earlier, a golden spike was driven to mark completion of the track.
From the Aug. 22, 1979, edition of The Arabian Sun
To accommodate the growing number of passenger traveling on the railroad between Dammam and Riyadh, the Saudi Government Railroad Organization at ceremonies held recently in Dammam inaugurated a new train to provide service between these two cities. HH 'Abd al-Muhsin ibn Jiluwi, Governor of the Eastern Province, presided over the ceremonies.
Built by Schilinder Carriage and Wagon Co., the Swiss state rail company, the new train is one of four that make the journey between Dammam and Riyadh.
In similar ceremonies nearly 28 years ago, in October 1951, a gold spike was driven that marked the completion of the track. Passenger and cargo trains have been running along this route since 1952.
With a total of nine air-conditioned cars -- one to carry baggage and another serving as a dining car -- the new train can seat up to 450 passengers. Three classes of travel are being offered, and one-way fares are SR40, SR30, and SR20.
Traveling at an average speed of 100 kilometers per hour, the new trains completes the 562-kilometer journey in about seven hours, with stops in Abqaiq, Hofuf, Haradh, and al-Kharj.
Caption for top photo: Additional railroad service between Dammam and Riyadh was provided last month when the Saudi Government Railroad Organization introduced a new train.
Also on this date
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1963 — X-15 Flight 91 reaches the highest altitude of the X-15 program (nearly 108 kilometers)
1953 — The penal colony on Devil’s Island is permanently closed
1949 — The Queen Charlotte earthquake is Canada’s strongest since the 1700 Cascadia earthquake
1934 — Bill Woodfull of Australia becomes the only test cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes
1902 — Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to make a public appearance in an automobile
1894 — Mahatma Gandhi forms the Natal Indian Congress in order to fight discrimination against Indian traders in Natal
1864 — Twelve nations sign the first Geneva Convention, establishing the rules of protection of the victims of armed conflicts
1791 — The Haitian slave revolution begins in Saint Domingue, Haiti
1717 — Spanish troops land at Sardinia
1485 — Richard III dies at the Battle of Bosworth Field, marking the end of the House of Plantagenet
392 — Arbogast has Eugenius elected Western Roman Emperor