With a geographic area of more than 2.149 million square kilometers, Saudi Arabia occupies a strategic position linking the eastern and western parts of the world. Massive stretches of desert separate the various cities and industrial facilities in addition to the main ports of both the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea. The soaring boom over the past decades has placed the Kingdom at the forefront of the region's economies in terms of growth, stability and productivity.
Wealth in natural resources has also rendered the Kingdom to be a focal point for business opportunities and a fertile environment for different types of investments and development projects.
The steady increase in population and the wide range of development and economic projects boosted with the introduction of new industries such as mining, which has become the third pillar of Saudi industries, have created an urgent need for strengthening the transport sector through devising safe and environmentally friendly alternative solutions that are characterized with efficiency and high reliability in terms of their absorptive capacity and ability to meet current and future needs.
Railways have manifested themselves as one of the key solutions and the most effective way to support the mining industry in the Kingdom, considering the huge capacity and high reliability coupled with maintaining the highest standards of security and safety, in light of the large distance between the sources of phosphate and bauxite raw materials both from the north and central regions of the Kingdom and areas of their processing and export in the Arabian Gulf.
Hence the launch of the idea of the Government of the Kingdom – may God protect it - to invest in creating infrastructure for railways to be utilized not only in support of the mining industry, but also in linking the northern and central regions with the eastern region through providing integrated transport solutions covering passengers and goods of all types along with heavy transport of minerals, petroleum and petrochemical products.
The Saudi Railways Company (SAR) was founded in 2006 by the Public Investments Fund (PIF) in order to implement a railway project linking the northern region with both the eastern and central regions of the Kingdom, including the operation and management of the project with the necessary competence in accordance with optimal economic operating parameters, through applying state-of-the-art global standards of performance and safety.
Railways will play a prominent role in supporting the progress of the nation and diversifying sources of income in addition to nationalizing the tasks of operation and management of this sector in terms of human resources or investments in supporting industries that would create new and promising opportunities for the national young generations and achieve the principle of sustainability for the future of this sector at large.