Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Riyadh to Dammam Solo Train Trip in the Morning

solo flashpack sightseeing the sands
october 25, 2011 tuesday

The idea of constructing a railway line in Saudi Arabia was first introduced in the mid 1940s, when a need became apparent for a port on the Gulf coast to handle materials dispatched to The Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco). In the beginning, the railway line was run by Aramco, but it was subsequently entrusted to the Ministry of Finance, at which time it was known as the Railway Department. On the 13th of May, 1966, a Royal Decree was issued establishing the Saudi Railways Organization as a public corporation having full legal status.
source: http://www.saudirailways.org

saudi railway e-ticket

saudi railway Al Qafilah section

address in Riyadh;
al- Malaz District, [Ring Road] Exit No. 16, Omar ibn Al-Khattab Road, Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Turki St.
The station is open from 6:00 am till 1:00 am.

train trip schedules from riyadh city to dammam city;

Train   Riyadh     Dammam
2          07:11     11:57
4         10:12     14:58
6         12:50     17:46
8         16:20     21:06
10       20:38     01:24

train ticket fares (riyal);
Riyadh-Dammam      Full Ticket     Half Ticket     Infant
Al-Rehab Class             130                 65             13
Al-Taleaa Class               75                 38             8
Al-Qafilah Class             60                 30              6

There are three classes available on SRO`s trains (all fully air-condition);
Al-Rihab, the most luxurious; passengers on this Class enjoy soft and cozy seats and larger spaces, in addition to access to TV and newspapers.
Al-Taleaa is the second best in terms of luxury, comfort and cabin space.
Al Qafilah is the ordinary class.

saudi railway view during cruise at morning

saudi railway view during cruise at morning

saudi railway view during cruise at morning (the red sands)

saudi railway view during cruise at morning (the red sands)

Since I do not have work schedule for this day due to the death of one of the most powerful person in Saudi Arabia, I don't wanna waste my time while I'm still here in this country. I immediately thought of having a train trip due as I recall it was part of my planned adventures during my pre-departure preparations. I never thought this would take effect on this day when in fact I was just less than 2 weeks residing. Anyways, based on the fellow Filipinos' I've asked that taking train transportation is very safe even you travel solo, so I decided to take a shot and experience it on my own. Though there was zero itinerary, I just want to experience train express here in Saudi Arabia.

I left apartment 0530H and took a taxi bound to Saudi railway station. I decided to wake up early due I don't have ticket yet and as far as the advice I had received, the earliest train trip from Riyadh to Dammam is 0711H. Paid my ticket 60SAR, counter will issue e-ticket at 8x11 size. Waited for over an hour, then fall in line for ticket scanning, showed my Iqama (civil ID) and put my bag to the conveyor for x-ray. Around 0730H (delayed), train departed Riyadh city.

Bringing of food and drinks is allowed but there is a food seller roaming inside for light snacks. Comparing the cruise to our PNR's bicol express (7/10) which I experience just last month and on Thailand last year (4/10), I rate this train as one of the most soothing trip I ever had, 9/10.

saudi railway view during cruise at morning (ordinary sands)

saudi railway view during cruise at morning


  1. hi great post. couple of questions. i wish to travel with my family (wife and 2 yr old son) to dammam this week end.
    is qafilah class is okay for us?
    usually families prefer qafilah class or families have to travel in higher class only.
    your response would be appreciated. thanks

    1. @khaleel; yes, its ok and safe 100%..
      just a reminder i'm solo backpacker and the only filipino during that time. i'd even walk outside the couch for red sand and sunset photoshoot.
      happy traveling and thank you very much for visiting my blog :)


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