Saudi Railways...

There are three rail routes in Saudi Arabia, originally run by two different state-owned organisations, Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) and Saudi Arabia Railways (SA).  These merged in February 2022 under the name Saudi Arabia Railways, www.sar.com.sa.

small bullet point  Riyadh - Dammam

small bullet point  Riyadh - Qassim - Hail -Jauf

small bullet point  Mecca - Jeddah - Medina

small bullet point  See detailed railway route map


large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator:

Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR)  www.sar.com.sa.

The Haramain high-speed line has a separate website, www.hhr.sa.

   

Time zone:

GMT+3 all year

Dialling code:

 

+966

Currency:

1 = approx 4.9 Saudi Riyals.  $1 = approx 3.7 Saudi Riyals.     Currency converter

Tourist information:

See UK Foreign Office travel advice at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/saudi-arabia

Visas:

UK & most other nationals need a visa to visit Saudi Arabia.

Page last updated:

18 March 2022


large bullet pointRiyadh to Dammam

Originally run by Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO), but now all part of Saudi Arabia Railways, www.sar.com.sa (click English top left).  Riyadh to Dammam is 449 km, the line opened in 1981.  Dammam is close to Bahrain.

 Riyadh ► Dammam

Days of running: 

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

Thur, Sat

daily

 Riyadh (SRO station)

07:59

11:18

13:25

15:31

17:38

19:47

21:00

 Dammam

11:35

15:45

17:01

19:07

21:14

23:05

00:36

 Dammam ► Riyadh

Days of running: 

daily

daily

Thur, Sat

daily

daily

daily

daily

 Dammam

03:45

08:05

11:43

13:35

15:42

17:48

19:55

 Riyadh (SRO station)

07:22

11:42

15:03

17:12

19:19

21:25

23:32

Riyadh SRO station is close to the city centre.

How much does it cost?

One-way fare

First class

Second class

Riyadh - Dammam

136.50 riyals

78.75 riyals

How to buy tickets...

What is the train like?

The Riyadh-Dammam trains are 5-car air-conditioned sets with a power car at one end and driving cab at the other.  Built by Spanish manufacturer CAF, these trains date from 2011-12.  The trains have Premium (1st) class and Standard (2nd) class, a cafe counter and even a prayer area.

Riyadh-Dammam train

The Riyadh-Dammam train.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com...

1st class on the Riyadh-Dammam train   2nd class on Riyadh-Dammam train

1st class.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRailLarger photo.

 

2nd class. Courtesy DiscoverByRail. Larger photo.

Prayer area on Riyadh-Dammam train   Buffet car on Riyadh-Dammam train

Prayer area.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

 

Buffet car.  Courtesy DiscoverByRail.com.

Riyadh SRO station...

Riyadh station   Riyadh station

Riyadh station.

 

Riyadh station.  Photos courtesy DiscoverByRail.com.

More information...

If anyone has any more information. photos or travel reports that would be useful for this page, please e-mail me!


large bullet pointRiyadh to Qassim, Hail, Jauf

Riyadh to Hail train at Riyadh KKIA station

The train to Hail at Riyadh KKIA station.  These photos by courtesy of Timon91 on Flikr

Interior of the train to Hail   Business class on train to Hail

Economy class...  Larger photo.

 

Business class...  Larger photo.

Business class on the train to Hail   Business lounge at Riyadh

Business class...  Larger photo.

 

Business lounge at Riyadh KKIA station...

Riyadh to Hail trains at Hail station

Trains at Hail station.  Photos above courtesy of Philip Hilton

Traveller Philip Hilton reports:  "At Riyadh North station, the feeling is very much like an airport arrivals and departure area. From the taxi drop off you are straight into a spacious arrivals and departure atrium style area, there are coffee and restaurant facilities available and comfortable waiting areas. Something new to us as rail travellers was to check in our big cases, airport style in the departures area then head through security to the Business class lounge. Two adult Business Class returns cost us SAR 598.00 or 117.56 GBP, not bad for around ten hours of comfortable, return rail travel. Inside the lounge there are complementary sandwiches, tea and coffee (American and Arabic), water and comfortable seating with free wifi. The welcoming staff let you know when it's time to board and open a glass door directly next to the train so it's a short walk with your carry-on luggage. Complimentary sandwiches, water and orange juice were served at your seat along with Arabic coffee and dates. Trains are modern with leather seating which reclines back and supports your legs. There is a mix of seats with tables and airline seat styles. All the stations are identical pretty much in design with usually two platforms which makes finding your way around quite easy. |All in all a great and very enjoyable experience."


large bullet pointMedina - Jeddah - Mecca

  • The new Haramain high-speed railway linking Medina, Jeddah & Mecca opened in October 2018.  It's operated by 300km/h trains built by Spanish firm Talgo.  Originally run by Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO), now (from 2022) part of Saudi Arabia Railways.

  • You can check train times and (in theory) buy tickets at www.hhr.sa - for English click the globe logo top left then select English from the drop-down menu.  However, reports suggest it requires a Saudi phone number and only accepts Saudi payment cards.

  • Jeddha to Mecca is 78 km, Mecca to Medina is 450 km.  So far, trains on this route have proved both busy (80%+ load factors) and punctual (93% on time).

  • There are four trains each way on Saturdays & Sundays, two each way on Thursdays & Fridays, no trains on Mon-Wed.  However, service is gradually ramping up to 7 days a week.

  • Note that non-Muslims aren't allowed in Mecca, nor the part of Medina around the prophet's house (but the rest of Medina is apparently accessible).  You should expect tight airline-style security before boarding these trains, including banning sharp objects such as scissors in your luggage.

  • At Mecca station you can buy a ticket for a coach transfer from the station to the Grand Mosque, taking 15 minutes.  Although it's only 15-20 minutes to walk, it can be hot.

  • If anyone has any more information. photos or travel reports that would be useful for this page, please e-mail me!

Train to Mecca at Jeddah Airport

The high-speed Talgo train to Mecca at Jeddah Airport...  Courtesy of www.wittli.de.

Interior of the train to Mecca   Train to Mecca at Jeddah Airport

Economy class on the train to Medina & Mecca.

Courtesy of www.wittli.deLarger photo.

 

The Talgo train at Medina station.

Courtesy of www.wittli.de.

Jeddah Airport station   Medina station

Jeddah Airport station.

Courtesy of www.wittli.de.

 

Medina station.

Courtesy of www.wittli.de.

Train at Medina station

The high-speed Talgo trains at Medina statiin...  Courtesy of www.wittli.de.


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