Saudi Arabia opened high-speed railway for the public, carrying Muslim pilgrims and other travellers between the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. The high-speed railway was inaugurated on Thursday.
The Haramain High-Speed Rail system would be transporting the travellers two hundred and eighty miles (280 miles) through the Red Sea port of Jeddah at the speed of up to three hundred kilometres (300 km) per hour.
There would be two trains, with each train having the capacity to carry four hundred and seventeen passengers. It would depart from Makkah and Madinah at 8 am, as per the state-operated Saudi Press Agency.
It mentioned that initially two daily services would be planned in each direction.
On the 25th of October, King Salman of Saudi Arabia inaugurated the high-speed railway, which as per the local officials is the biggest transportation project of the region.
The new connectivity would be reducing the travel time between Makkah and Madinah from four to six hours to just two hours, as informed by the transport officials.
The rail project, has witnessed several delays, was constructed at a cost of more than sixteen billion dollars as per Saudi media.
Back in 2011, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement for a Spanish consortium for building the rail track, provision of thirty-five high-speed rails and to manage a twelve-year maintenance contract.
Saudi Arabia is increasing infrastructure spending and is expanding its railways, which included a $22.5 billion metro system under construction in the capital city—Riyadh, as it looks to spread its oil-dependent economy.
The yearly Hajj, which is to be held in September next year, attracts more than two million Hajj pilgrims to Makkah.