This Day in History

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.

This Day in History (1979): New Train Put in Service for Dammam-Riyadh Run

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.


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