Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will officially inaugurate the Haramain Express on Tuesday. The express is a high-speed rail line, joining Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah, travelling a total of 450 km.
A consortium of Saudi Al Shoula, Al Rosan and Spain’s Adif, Ineco, Renfe, Cobra and Copasa came to a deal with the government in November 2016, allowing them to finish the project they had initially been awarded, a $7.1bn contract in 2011.
Ticket prices have been revealed and seat prices begin at SAR20 ($5.33) up to SAR250 ($66.65), depending the seat class and distance travelled.
Regular train schedule will begin on October 4 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting from Makkah Al Mukarramah, Madinah, Sulaymaniyah in Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City, said Chairman of the Public Transport Authority Rumaih bin Mohammed Al Rumaih.
Services to Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport will begin once its’ station opens at the end of March 2019.
Thirty-five trains will initiate the operations with eight trips a day (four per direction), increasing to 12 next year. Each trains can travel at speeds of up to 300km/h can and carry 417 people.
The trip from Makkah to Jeddah takes 21 minutes, from Jeddah to King Abdulaziz Airport is 14 minutes, King Abdulaziz to Rabigh is 36 minutes and Rabigh to Madinah is 61 minutes. The full trip from Makkah to Madinah will take approximately two and a half hours.
Out of the 3000 jobs created, 70 percent of employees who will manage, operate and maintain the train network are Saudi nationals.
The line is expected to reach a capacity of 60 million passengers per year when service frequency is increased from the first quarter of 2019.
The Kingdom is also progressing on other rail projects, including the Riyadh metro, which will begin operations next year.