JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Haramain High-Speed Rail project, also known as the Western Railway, will operate its first trip from Makkah to Madinah in January, a report said.
An official for the project said the train will initially go from Makkah to Madinah with no stops in between, said the Saudi Gazette report.
The project is a 453-km-long high-speed inter-city rail transport system linking the two holy cities via King Abdullah Economic City, King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, using 449.2 km of main line and a 3.75-km branch connection to King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA).
The network will be connected to existing rail transport in Saudi Arabia at Jeddah.
“The train is highly anticipated as it has the vital role of connecting the two holy cities Makkah and Madinah. The train will be transporting pilgrims, mitigating the load on buses and freeing up traffic,” said the official.
“The airport station is being built in cooperation with the General Authority for Civil Aviation. The Electricity Company will also be providing electricity for Station One which connects Jeddah to Makkah,” said the official.
Electric trains on this line wll travel at a speed of 300 km per hour. The railway is expected to carry three million passengers a year, including many Haj and Umrah pilgrims, helping to relieve traffic congestion on the roads.