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RCU, SYSTRA ink AlUla Tram design deal
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 04 - 07 - 2022

RIYADH — The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has signed a tram design agreement with the French transport giant SYSTRA to advance the AlUla tram project, which will connect the governorate to a number of stations, tracks, routes, landmarks and historical heritage sites.
SYSTRA is one of the world's leading engineering and consulting groups specialized in public transport and mobility solutions.
The 50-km tram, which will run from AlUla International Airport in the south to Hegra city in the north, is a key project in AlUla's "The Journey Through Time" master plan. It is also a main pillar of AlUla's development program, which aims to turn AlUla into a global spot for travellers offering heritage, nature, art and culture, in line with the Kingdom's Vision 2030. This is a landmark initiative in realizing the ambitious vision of transforming AlUla governorate into a global tourist destination and the largest living museum in the world.
Through the tram project, the RCU aims to enhance the sustainability of mobility and reduce crowd and noise. The project will work to effectively employ sustainable electric energy, and will link centers, neighborhoods, heritage and tourist sites, with providing a unique tourist experience that celebrates the beauty of the natural environment.
Amr Al-Madani, CEO of RCU, said that AlUla has proven that it is at the center of everyone's attention, and planning in AlUla affects financial, environmental, and energy sustainability as well. "Thus, the tram will be part of the solution, not only because it will rely on electric power but also because it will reduce the need to use vehicles that are used to reach sites in the desert, which do not provide a pleasant transportation experience and are environmentally harmful," he added.
According to RCU, the design of the project's initial phase is expected to be completed in 2023. The tram will serve several routes.
Tram carts feature designs inspired by the natural and historical heritage of AlUla, securing the governorate's vision of transforming the city into the largest living museum in the world and a global tourism destination.
The tram project has been divided into a number of tracks, as the northern "red" track connects the most prominent tourist areas and archaeological sites, and allows easy movement between various main sites specified in the "Journey Through Time" master plan. As for the second phase, it will extend to the south of AlUla governorate, with an additional 33 km long route that reaches the international airport, in an effort to consolidate AlUla's position as a prominent transport hub.
The Al-Ula tram track has been set in a way that supports pedestrian access, and provides shared bicycles and e-bikes, as well as electric vehicles.
The ambitious project of developing AlUla governorate and transform it into a destination of international heritage emanates from the vision of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Board of Directors of RCU. The announcement about the AlUla tram design agreement coincided with the Crown Prince's unveiling of the national aspirations and priorities for the research, development and innovation sector in the Kingdom over the coming two decades.

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