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MENAFN - Arab News - 21/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) is continuously working on developing stations trains and railways said SRO President Muhammad Al-Suwaiket.

'We have completed blueprints for developing trains and squares in the Dammam and Riyadh stations and work on the first phase will commence after we receive the budget next year' he said.

'Four trains will be manufactured by the end of 2014 in addition to the eight trains that we already have.

The SRO has also proposed insuring four more trains bringing to 16 the number of trains that will be included in operational plans that will kick off in 2015.

The organization is also doubling the track between Riyadh and Dammam as well as removing some level crossings.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah recently approved a plan to allow trains to pass through the National Guard Ministry in Al-Ahsa. The railway track will also reach Hofuf.

In addition the number of direct services running between Dammam and Riyadh will be increased and their duration cut to three hours per trip.

University students will be able to acquire frequent traveler cards.

As of 2013 the organization adapted a new system that makes it easier for passengers to buy and reserve tickets without going to the train station. Passengers can buy tickets online or through an automated phone-in reservation system he said.

'There have however been many illegal crossing attempts that have damaged some rail components since the line extends over vast areas of the Kingdom. Still we cannot leave the issue of security to each individual station' Al-Suwaiket said.

'We must therefore establish a comprehensive security system to protect these railways either through an internal security authority or independently.'

The SRO chief said that the railway system has come under a lot of fire.

The SRO welcomes constructive criticism that helps enhance services he said. 'We take observations received by post seriously and address issues immediately.'

The organization meets periodically to review comments and observations in addition to conducting surveys and questionnaires twice a year to gauge customer feedback on schedule services and customer care.


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