Saudi's Haramain train to handle 15,000 passengers
The 480km-long train project, expected to be ready in 2017, will link the kingdom’s holy sites to other cities to facilitate travel for pilgrims and visitors
Seven of Haramain high-speed trains will operate between Mecca and Jeddah per hour, while two trains per hour will operate between Mecca and Madinah, the director general of the project, Bassam Ghalman, revealed.
The project, which began in 2009, is near completion after finalisation of work at the Jeddah and Madinah stations, Arab News reported.
The 480km-long train project will link the kingdom’s holy sites to other cities to facilitate travel for pilgrims and visitors, and is expected to span over 120 years.
The project is 90% completed, and the first phase of the Madinah to Jeddah portion is expected to be ready in Q4 2016, the Mecca governorate previously announced, adding that the portion from Jeddah to Mecca is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.
The Jeddah station is 97% complete, and trial runs are ongoing, said Ghalman during the Saudi Association of Engineers’ Al-Omran Forum.
He said: "36 trains carrying around 15,000 passengers will operate on an average every day from and to Mecca and Madinah. The project has faced many challenges since the creation of engineering plans for construction and building, such as having some plans which were too expensive. But the plans have all been addressed."
Work on the Mecca station was delayed for seven months after licenses were withdrawn from the Saudi Binladin Group due to the crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in 2015, according to Arab News.