Commuting expats in Saudi happy with new train service

Published:  1 Mar at 6 PM
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Expats in Saudi commuting between Qassim province and the capital are more than happy with a new train service joining the two conurbations as it dramatically cuts travel times. Both expat and Saudi commuters are commenting positively about the recently introduced service as a welcome option to the long, trying journey by car.

The new train forms part of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030 initiative for the kingdom, and will be expanded to cover other destinations in the near future. Formerly, the Qassim Expressway was the only route between Riyadh and Qassim province, with the infamous but vital road winding through the desert to the northern borders across clogged with trucks and cars from dawn to dusk.

At present, the train runs on Sunday, Monday, Friday, Thursday and Saturday, but will offer a seven day service from the beginning of April. It’s not just commuters who will benefit, as the line also links with the international airport in Riyadh, saving arriving travellers the chore of finding a taxi. Tickets can be bought at stations or online, and a promotional fare is now on offer. The route will be extended to other destinations, with work beginning in July and ending with a total track of 1,242 kilometres.

Before the route opened, travellers to Riyadh on public buses from Buraidah used to allow up to seven hours for the journey, with private cars taking around 4.5 hours. The new train service takes just 2.5 hours of comfortable travel and as well as saving time, the new service also saves money. The only snag for travellers is that the new railway station at Buraidah is 15 kilometres from the city. Nevertheless, reports confirm commuters are happy wit the service.
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