JEDDAH: The Haramain Express Train has arrived at Jeddah station for the first time after operational tests of the Saudi high-speed train system.
The train arrived on a pilot trip from King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
“The Railway Corp. seeks to play its role in realizing Vision 2030 by harnessing its energies to serve pilgrims and guests through the Haramain train project, linking Makkah and Madinah through Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and KAEC in Rabigh,” said Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih, chairman of the Public Transport Authority (PTA) and acting head of the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO).
Al-Rumaih said the railway will be fully operational by the end of 2017.
Last December, Haramain High Speed Rail Project Director Bassam bin Ahmed Ghulman said it is the largest transportation project in the Middle East and one of the largest public transportation projects in the world.
It is estimated to cost about SR62 billion ($16.5 billion), and involved erecting 15,000 power pylons and demolishing some mountains.
The 450-km-long electric railway is designed to serve 60 million passengers annually via 35 trains.