Haramain Railway to begin operation in 52 months

Updated 14 October 2012
0

Haramain Railway to begin operation in 52 months

JEDDAH: Al-Shuala Al-Kabida, the contracting company of Haramain speed rail project, expects the first train journey between Makkah and Madinah to start in 52 months from now.
“Al-Arab Company will complete the first phase of the project very soon,” said Osama Adib Salama, the company’s finance director, in an interview with Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat.
“The lay over time in each station will be only seven minutes to reduce the total duration of rides between Makkah and Madinah to two and a half hours, instead of five hours by road,” he added.
The Haramain project, widely known in industry circles as HHR, is a 444-km high-speed intercity rail transport system that will link the two holy cities of Madinah and Makkah via King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
The Makkah-Madinah rail link is part of the major railway expansion project, which includes linking Jeddah with Riyadh and Dammam.
The Makkah-Jeddah-Madinah rail link is expected to carry more than 150,000 passengers daily during peak seasons, such as for Haj and Umrah.
The link, initiated by the Saudi Rail Organization, is one of the country’s major infrastructure projects, and is intended to bolster social and cultural connections between Saudi Arabia’s western cities.
“It is the first project of its kind. The train will accommodate 420 passengers per trip, and it would be the first train in Saudi Arabia to run at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour,” said Salama.
He indicated that amendments would have to be made for the passengers’ luggage system, as the baggage of pilgrims differs from normal luggage. It may require the allocation of a luggage cart or a reduction in the number of seats in the passenger compartments.


Saudi Arabia calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

Updated 36 min 46 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabia calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

  • The ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage
  • Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year.
Qatari Hajj pilgrims can register their details, browse packages and pay for them at: https://qh1440.haj.gov.sa

The ministry called on Qatar not to block the webpage as it did previously and “cooperate in order to allow its citizens to perform Hajj easily.”

Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups.

The embargo includes transport restrictions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but the Kingdom has taken measures to ensure pilgrims from Qatar can travel freely for Hajj and Umrah.

The ministry said on Saturday it had taken several steps to ensure pilgrims could enter Saudi Arabia for for Hajj, which starts next month. But the ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a recent meeting with a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country arriving in the Kingdom, the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreements to enable access for it citizens, according to the ministry.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said that Qatari pilgrims could complete their applications upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.