Saudi Minister of Transport Nabeel al-Amoudi unveiled a railway project, linking Saudi cities with Makkah in addition to a land bridge project that connects the east of the kingdom with Jeddah Islamic Port.
Amoudi revealed that the Haramain High-Speed train faced some obstacles that delayed its launching such as its complexity in regards to engineering. Yet, he assured that these obstacles were overcome, as simple matters remain before actual operation of the project next year.
The minister’s affirmation coincided with the visit of Prince Khaled al-Faisal, adviser to Saudi Arabia's king and governor of Makkah, to the project and carrying out a trial tour in the train from Jeddah to the capital.
The train departed Monday morning from Jeddah Central Station at Al-Sulaimaniah and arrived at Al-Rusaifah station, 3.5 kilometers from the Grand Mosque.
Prince Khaled al-Faisal congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on the success of the project as it aims to serve Haj and Umrah pilgrims as well as residents.
“I extend my congratulations to Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on this achievement and for the Kingdom’s efforts to serve Islam and Muslims and the country’s continuous development from its early history until today," Prince Khaled said.
“These successive projects are not meant for show-off or boasting; they come about because we are entrusted with the care for this homeland which embraces the most sacred spots on earth,” he added.
The 450-kilometer railway aims to transport 60 million commuters annually. The high-speed train travels at 300 kmph. It links Makkah and Medina, passing through Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City. It will begin operating in 2018.
Haramain rail station plays a vital role in Makkah because of its location, extending at a space of 503,000 square meters. It is 4 km away from the Great Mosque of Makkah and can receive 19,500 arriving and departing passengers in one hour.