Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, launched a high-speed railway linking Mecca and Medina named Haramain High Speed Rail at a ceremony held in Jeddah on Tuesday. The project has reportedly been built at a cost of more than $16 billion.
The train, described as the biggest transportation project in the region, will transport pilgrims and regular travelers, 450 kilometers between the two cities in two hours. According to officials, 35 passenger trains that can travel at speeds of 300 km per hour will cut down travel time to 120 minutes. Read more
“This project is considered the biggest transport project in the Middle East,” Mohammed Falaha, a Haramain project manager, told AFP.
In 2011, Saudi Arabia signed a deal for a Spanish consortium to build the rail track, supply 35 high-speed trains and handle a 12-year maintenance contract.
According to AFP, the kingdom is boosting its infrastructure spending and expanding its railways, including with a $22.5 billion metro system under construction in Riyadh.