The company, implementing the constructional work for the Haramain Express Train, has completed the construction of 430 km of rails out of 450km, which is the distance between Makkah and Madinah, the project sources said.
They said there were only 20 km remaining for the completion of the entire rail project. The sources said the remaining kilometers to be constructed are part of the railway leading from Jeddah to Makkah at the main station at Al-Rusaifah district in the holy city.
They said the company has established 138 bridges over the expressways through which the train will pass and also over Al-Haramain Road in Jeddah. The company, which is part of an international consortium, has constructed 12 independent crossings for camels in the areas where there are a large number of the animals.
It has also dug a total of 840 underpasses to drain rain and floodwaters. The test urn of the train is expected to take place late December this year.
Earlier last year, Minister of Transport Sulaiman Al-Hamdan said he is looking forward to the commissioning of Al-Haramain Express Train soon as the project was progressing unhindered. Al-Hamdan had said the train was a new advancement in the Kingdom’s transportation sector.
“The railway that will connect Makkah and Madinah is one of the Kingdom’s most carefully supervised projects. It is one of the top priorities for the government. The project is going on schedule without any delays or hindrance. It will facilitate the transportation between the two holy cities greatly,” he had said.
He had made a tour of the train and traveled between King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah during a test ride, and was all praise for the train’s performance.
“The train goes at a speed of 200 km per hour. I was with a group of officials and supervisors of the project and I had checked the station in Rabigh. It is complete and ready for operation. The national manpower is doing a great job as Saudi workers are trained in countries such as Spain,” said Al-Hamdan.
He also said the train will connect Makkah and Madinah and will have stops in Jeddah, King Abdullah Economic City and Rabigh.
“The 450-km long railway is built using the latest technology and most advanced materials. The train has the latest engines and the cars were built using most advanced technology in consultation with international companies,” said Al-Hamdan.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on January 20, 2016.