High-speed rail connects Mecca-Madina via Jeddah

High-speed rail connects Mecca-Madina via Jeddah

A high-speed train (left) and a platform (right) at the King Abdul Aziz Economic City (KAEC) Station in Jeddah (left). (Libertina W.A)

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (ANTARA News) - The Haramain High-Speed Rail (HHR) project, using the latest technology in the world, will soon be inaugurated by the Saudi Arabian government and will connect the two holy cities of Mecca and Madina via Jeddah.

"With a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour, the trip from Mecca to Madina, which is some 449 kilometers, can be completed in about two hours," Operation and Maintenance Supervisor of King Abdul Aziz Economic City (KAEC) Station Saleem Mohammed Amin Bakshsh stated here on Monday (July 16).

The KAEC Station, located between Mecca and Madina, becomes the link between the two holy cities. The journey from the KAEC Station to Mecca will take some 55 minutes and so is the journey from KAEC to Madina.

He said all technology applied in the HHR project is the latest in the world.

"The technology you have been imagining will be available at this station and in the high-speed train," Bakshsh remarked.

He explained that the building of KAEC Station, located some 110 kilometers from the city centre of Jeddah, was designed by a British architectural firm, while the train technology was provided by a Spanish company, Talgo.

All technologies used at the KAEC Station will make the trips safer and more comfortable, ranging from ticket purchase through several machines to checking of train tickets at the entrance to the platform, until passengers are on board the train.

The station also has large prayer rooms, clean toilets, luxury lounge, as well as stores and restaurants where visitors and passengers can enjoy.

Bakshsh explained that all lighting at the KAEC Station`s entrance hall use solar light reflector technology installed on the roof of the building. With such advanced technology, all rooms of the station are illuminated with sunlight, while electricity is only slightly used at night.

He added that the HHR will be operated soon after the Hajj season 1439 Hijri (2018).

Meanwhile, Rayan Al-Thoubaiti, a service officer at the KAEC Station, explained that the station has six platforms comprising two double tracks in the centre and a single track at the two sides.

"The total length of the train is 216 meters, comprising 13 carriages, with eight carriages for economy class and five for business class," he noted, adding that the train is powered by 25 thousand volts.

Inside the train carriages, passengers can order food and beverages from cafeterias, use electricity and internet connections, and be more comfortable with screens showing travel maps, travel distance and time, and outside temperature.

Al-Thoubaiti further explained that each single carriage can carry 417 passengers, while the double-decker train can accommodate 834 passengers. All facilities at the station and train are also friendly to passengers with special needs.

With this capacity, the HHR is ready to serve people and visitors from outside Saudi Arabia, especially Hajj and umrah pilgrims whose numbers will continue to grow in line with the improvement in facilities provided by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Al-Thoubaiti pointed out that five stations passed by the HHR along the Mecca-Madina route are the Mecca Station, Jeddah Station, King Abdul Aziz Airport Station, KAEC Station, and Madinah Station.

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