By Innovation-sa on March 22, 2018 in News

The high-speed Haramain Express train connecting the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah will be ready to serve passengers this year, following final safety trails and operational readiness tests carried out for high-speed trains, announced Nabeel Al Amoudi, Minister of Transportation and Chairman of the Saudi Railway Organisation.

The Haramain rail project, better known as “Western railway” or “Makkah-Madinah high-speed railway”, is a 453 km long high-speed intercity rail transport system linking Madinah and Makkah via King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA) at Jeddah.

The $16 billion worth express train, which is expected to carry 60 million passengers per year, including millions of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims will use electric propulsion to attain an operating speed of 300kph.

The new service will reduce traffic congestion on highways as well as cut down traveling time between Makkah and Madinah to less than 2 hours, which otherwise would take 6 hours by any means of road transport.

The train service, which was initially scheduled to roll out in 2012, is one of the biggest public transport projects in the Middle East and is expected to play a vital role in realizing Kingdom’s Vision 2030 by harnessing its energies to serve pilgrims and guests.