Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Saudi Arabia's first railway of the modern era, commemorative stamp, 1951

With Saudi Arabia in the media spotlight nowadays for all the wrong reasons, here is a post on its transport history.  The first railway in the country was the 1050 mm gauge Hejaz railway opened in 1908 north from Medina through Jordan to Damascus in Syria, However, that was given Steven Joyce-style treatment in 1915 by T.E. Lawrence, a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia.

The first post-WW2 railway was completed in 1951 from Riyahd to Damman (about 450 km/280 miles) and locomotives consisted of 5 EMD SW 1200 units, presumably what the stamp is meant to show. More lines have been built since. The track gauge is standard.

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