Railway is expected to carry many Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and is expected to relieve traffic congestion
Saudi Arabia’s first high-speed electric railway, which runs between Makkah and Madinah, will begin operation by September of this year, according to a report by Arab News.
The Kingdom’s Transport Minister, Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi said that the railway will be able to carry 60m passengers a year, by the time it’s fully operational at the start of 2019. Construction work on the project began in March 2009 and was originally scheduled to open in 2012.
The Haramain electric train is designed to travel at speeds in excess of 300km/h and is said to be the fastest in the Middle East. The trains will be equipped with latest signaling and communications systems, according to a project brief on the Saudi Railways Organisation (SRO) website, the operator of the railway line.
Five passenger stations will be built across Central Jeddah, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh (KEAC), according to the SRO. The 450-kilometre main line will travel through King Abdullah Economic City, with a nearly 4km long branch line extending to the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
The railway and rolling stock were designed to provide safe and comfortable high-speed transportation, and special attention was paid to ensure that all of the railway’s elements could handle temperatures as high as 50-degrees Celsius.