21 Feb, 2022 @ 18:15
1 min read

28,000 Saudi women apply to work as train drivers between Mecca and Medina in route operated by Spain’s Renfe

Spain: Informative Study: Madrid Extremadura High Speed Line
The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has approved the public information file and the Informative Study: Madrid-Extremadura high-speed line. Talayuela-Cáceres. Section: Madrid-Plasencia connection branch, selecting as an alternative to be developed in future construction projects the so-called South Alternative, as announced this Monday by the Official State Gazette (BOE). The new branch of the Madrid-Plasencia Connection will connect the Madrid-Extremadura high-speed line with the current conventional railway line 530 'Monfragüe-Plasencia', in a way that allows, through this last route, access to the current railway station. Plasencia of circulations from Madrid. Finally, the proposed alternative runs entirely through the municipality of Malpartida de Plasencia and has a total length of 2.2 kilometers, as reported by the Ministry of Transport (Photo by Alberto Sibaja/Pacific Press)

SPANISH rail firm Renfe has been inundated with applicants for 30 train driver jobs advertised exclusively for women. 

Over 28,000 women applied for the roles which will see successful applicants drive trains to and from the holy cities of Mecca and Medina after a year of training.

It is the first time women have been permitted to apply for train driver roles and follows a drive in the kingdom to liberalise some laws which have traditionally made it hard for women to enter the workplace.

Wiki Train
Renfe says it hopes to finalise the process in March. Image: Wikipedia

The jobs are part of the Haramain Project, in partnership with Renfe and the Saudi government.

Renfe forms part of the consortium behind the Middle East’s first high speed rail project running around 20 trains a day on the 450km track between the two cities. The bullet trains reach a speed in excess of 300km/h.

Renfe, which said it was keen to create opportunities for women in its local business, currently employs 80 men to drive its trains in Saudi Arabia, and has 50 more under instruction.

The proportion of women working in the kingdom is around half that of men and the unemployment for women was well over three times higher than for men, at 22%.

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