The 2020 Railway Forum: Future Transport in Saudi Arabia

Al-Jasser: “400 billion Saudi riyals were invested in infrastructure”
Al-Khorayef: “The Kingdom is distinguished by several things, the most important of which is its geographical location”
Al Malek: “We transported 47 million tons of fuel, which contributed to the displacement of 4 million trucks from the road”

Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) highlighted, on 28 and 29 January 2020, the main features of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s competitiveness in logistics services, and the most important transportation and infrastructure projects taking place in the country. The first-of-its-kind event took place in the presence of a number of ministers, officials from international organisations and companies interested in transportation in general and railways in particular.

Saudi Arabia Minister of Transport and Industry
His Excellency the Minister of Transport, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser and Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar bin Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al-Khorayef

In his opening speech for the occasion, His Excellency the Minister of Transport Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser revealed that 400 billion Saudi riyals had been invested in infrastructure in the past decade, signalling a real desire to take advantage of the Kingdom’s privileged location as a centre that connects three continents.

His Excellency Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar bin Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al-Khorayef, explained that transportation is essential for the industry and mineral wealth sector, explaining that the Kingdom’s vision was to diversify sources of income and the economy more widely.

Saudi Railway Company CEO
Mr Bachar El Maleq, SAR CEO

Dr Bashar Al-Malek, CEO of the Saudi Railway Company (SAR), said that the forum was being held for the first time in the Kingdom and was taking a new era under the umbrella of Vision 2030. He added that its organisation in Riyadh reflected the importance of the place in gathering local and international experts in the railway industry to present and discuss success stories and exchange of experiences and services provided through this industry.

The Director of Central Japan Railway Company, Torkel Patterson, said:

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is qualified to become a regional centre in express transport services thanks to its infrastructure and the ambitious plans it is working on. Within a few years it will be side by side with Japan, China and European countries in the field of transportation that depend on speed.”

Darren Davis, CEO of Maaden, explained that the Kingdom has investment incentives such as abundant mineral resources and energy sources, in addition to the traditional pillars of investment based on providing security and safety, as well as growing awareness in the local community, and future development plans.

Matthias Schubert, Executive Vice President Mobility at TÜV Rheinland Group, said that innovation is one of the important sectors that have made progress in the field of automation, pointing to the need to implement the important standards of security and safety in transportation, since it is impossible to bypass passenger safety.

For his part, Eng. Abdullah Aldubeikhi, CEO of Bahri Company, said that the Kingdom had a lot of capabilities in all modes and field of transport that had not yet been exploited, pointing out that the sustainability of the future of logistics required enhancing the spread and diversity of transport stations and areas of unloading and storage, which was what the Kingdom had been persistent in seeking in the context of Vision 2030.

And Andres De Leon, CEO of HyperLoopTT, spoke about hyperloop trains, explaining that they were fast, human-focused, sustainable, profitable, and had returns, indicating that through them Europe could be interlinked in a few hours.

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