The project was launched by the King Salman of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah’s Al-Sulaymaniyah station. The system will consist of 35 trains carrying over 400 passengers per journey. The trains will travel at about 300 km/h in a 450km route linking five stations (Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, and the King Abdullah Economic City). The connection of Mecca and Mediva with Jeddah is of high importance as they are crowded religious sites. “The two holy places are now even closer”, said Dr. Nabil Al-Amoudi, Minister of transport.
The construction of the railway included 3 stages. At first, the route was leveled with the construction of embankments and 40 bridges and with the excavation and removal of 150 million cubic meters of soil and rocks. Subsequently, the 4 out of 5 stations were constructed. The airport station was built as part of its own construction project. Finally, the railway line connecting the 5 stations was realized along with associated systems such as telecommunications, controls and signaling.
Saudi Arabia focuses on the development of the national transport system which is a key factor for the reflection of economy and quality of life. The chairman of the Saudi Railways Organization said they are capable of providing a state-of-the-art network to serve both citizens and visitors of their holy sites.
The trains are expected to make 8 journeys per day on both sides of the track, with the potential to reach a target of 12 journeys per day in the beginning of 2019.