SAUDI Railway Company (SAR) saw a 139% increase in the number of passengers on its trains during the second quarter of 2018 compared with the same period last year with an extra 46,000 passengers using the North-South Railway between Riyadh and Hail.
Mr Ammar Al-Nahdi, director general of marketing and corporate communications at SAR, says the increase is linked to several initiatives launched by the company such as adding new journeys and increasing trips during weekends and seasonal holidays.
SAR launched its first passenger service on February 26 2017 between Riyadh and Al Qassim and extended the service north to Hail on November 26 2017. SAR currently operates a daily round trip between Riyadh and Hail and an additional round trip between Riyadh and Al Qassim on Thursdays and Saturdays.
The trains were punctual more than 96% of the time, Al-Nahdi says, which is very high compared with other transport modes.
He says social awareness also contributed to this increase, as passengers regard rail as a more comfortable and safer mode of transport.