Haramain Train begins commercial operation

The Haramain High Speed Train began its commercial operations on Thursday between the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

The Public Transport Authority (PTA) Chief and Acting President of the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) Rumaih Al-Rumaih was present at the launch of the commercial operation from Makkah's Rusaifah Station on Thursday morning. Saad Al-Shahri, director of the Haramain Train Project in Madinah, was among the officials who witnessed the simultaneous launch of the operation in Madinah. Speaking to reporters, Al-Rumaih said that it is a historic moment of landmark achievement in the advanced transport industry in the Kingdom.

Commending the efficient role of the Saudi youth in making the project a great success, Al-Rumaih said that Capt. Abdurahman Al-Shahri, a young Saudi, is the driver of the High Speed Train that left for Madinah. He also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for their great support in making this big dream a reality, which is the largest transport project in the Middle East region and a gift from the Saudi leadership to more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.

The Haramain High Speed Train will transport passengers 450 km (280 miles) via the Red Sea port city of Jeddah at speeds of up to 300 km per hour. Two trains, each carrying 417 passengers, departed from Makkah and Madinah at 8 a.m., according to the Saudi Press Agency. Two daily services are initially planned in each direction, it said. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Sept. 25 inaugurated the high-speed railway, which is the biggest transportation project in the region. The new link will slash the travel time from several hours to 120 minutes, transport officials said.

Passengers can have online reservation and purchase of tickets through the website of (www.hhr.sa). They can contact the special customer service number (92000 4433) for queries about the timing of trips and ticket fares. There are ticket reservation and purchase facilities at the railway stations in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and Rabigh. This will also coincide with the launching of a special app for booking and purchasing of tickets. In the beginning, there will be scheduled weekly trips from Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City of Rabigh on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be eight services daily on both sides (four trips each side) in the morning and evening. There will be a discount of 50 percent in ticket fares for an initial period of two months from Oct. 11. One-way tourist class train ticket fare from Sulaimaniyah station in Jeddah to Makkah will be SR20 while business class ticket will cost SR25. The ticket fare for tourist class between Makkah and Madinah is SR75 while the business class will cost SR125. The tourist class ticket will cost SR63 between Jeddah and Madinah while the business class fare is SR105. The fare from Rabigh to Madinah will be SR50 for tourist class and SR75 for business class.

Source: International Islamic News Agency