Al Hamdan succeeds Dr Rumaih Mohammed Al-Rumaih who was named president of Saudi Railways Organisation earlier this year succeeding HE Eng Mohammed Khalid Al-Suwaiket.

SAR was set up to build the 2750km North-South Railway to connect the Gulf port of Ras Al Khair and Riyadh with mineral deposits and cities in the centre and north of Saudi Arabia. The first 1392km opened in 2011.

SAR is also responsible for the planned 950km Landbridge rail project linking Riyadh with Jeddah on the Red Sea coast, but this scheme has been stalled for many years due to indecision over funding.

SRO operates the Riyadh - Dammam railway and is responsible for the construction of the Haramain high-speed line linking Mecca, Jeddah and Medina, and the Saudi portion of the planned 2177km Gulf Railway.

  • SRO introduced a new daily express service between Riyadh and Damman on June 1 which has cut the journey time by 40 minutes to 3h 20min for the 449km trip.