High-speed Haramain train makes pilot trip

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Updated 21 November 2017
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High-speed Haramain train makes pilot trip

JEDDAH: The mega public transport project in the Makkah region on Tuesday received the first pilot trip of the high-speed Haramain train between Jeddah and Makkah, which departed from the Sulaymaniyah station in Jeddah.
Boarding the train for this first rail journey were Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman and governor of Makkah region, his deputy, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, Minister of Transport Nabil Al-Amoudi and several officials.
Al-Faisal congratulated King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the success of the first train trip between Jeddah and Makkah. He also congratulated the Islamic world, visitors to the holy city and the Saudi people on this occasion.
“Great achievements aren’t unusual in Saudi Arabia given the leadership’s keenness on serving Islam and Muslims, as well as developing this country, which has continued to prosper and advance since the day it was united,” he said.
Al-Faisal pointed out that development of this region has given it high status at a global level, indicating that “our leadership taught us to seek the best and improve all services, especially those targeting Muslims.”
For his part, Minister of Transport Nabil Al-Amoudi said: “Given the project’s magnitude and complexity, it faced several obstacles, but it will be completed in January 2018.”
He also pointed out that there are plans to connect the train to other areas in Makkah and connect the Jeddah Islamic Port to the rail network.
The rail network contains five stations, including the Makkah station, which plays a strategic role due to its location and its representation of this mega project’s completion, said the chairman of the Public Transport Authority, Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih.
He added: “This 503,000-square-meter station, which can accommodate 19,500 passengers per hour, is located in Al-Rusaifa at the main entrance of the city of Makkah, less than 4km from the Holy Mosque of Makkah. It also houses a modern transport center that provides buses to and from the Holy Mosque and is ready to connect to the Makkah metro network.”
The Haramain Express Train is one of the largest transportation projects in the Middle East. It is a 450km electric rail track connecting Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City, running at speeds of up to 300kph, and is set to carry 60 million passengers every year.
The official launch of the Haramain train will take place in 2018 and will include the launch of 35 trains, each of which with 417 seats.


Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

Updated 10 December 2018
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Formula E’s Felipe Massa races ‘fastest animal on planet’ in Saudi Arabia

  • ABB FIA Formula E Championship listens to fans by pitting Gen2 car and Felipe Massa in race against a peregrine falcon in Saudi Arabia
  • Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon

RIYADH: Formula E driver Felipe Massa behind the wheel of a Gen2 racing car has gone up against a peregrine falcon in a straight fight in Saudi Arabia to outrun the fastest animal on the planet.

It’s not the first time the fully-electric Formula E car has been pitted against a member of the animal kingdom, with reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne racing a cheetah on the Western Cape of South Africa last year.

Narrowly edging out the fastest land mammal in 2017, Formula E fans asked for a re-match — but this time together with more stern competition. Listening to the feedback of fans on social media, it was the turn of the peregrine falcon, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph) when diving through the skies above Saudi Arabia.

Massa was in the Kingdom ahead of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix, which will see the racing legend line-up on the Formula E starting grid for the first time on December 15 at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site on the outskirts of Riyadh.

For the battle of man and machine vs the natural world, the winged predator was trained to set its sights on a different kind of prey roaming through the desert — with a lure attached to the roll hoop of the advanced new-look Gen2 car.

Spreading his wings for the first time in Formula E machinery, 90-kilometers south-west of the Ad Diriyah, Massa’s mirrors loomed large with the claws of the peregrine falcon. But did he manage to shake off his opponent?

To watch Felipe and the falcon in flying formation, visit — https://youtu.be/ERxeaV60_7g

Felipe Massa, VENTURI Formula E Team driver, said: “It was an incredible experience for me to race against the fastest member of the animal kingdom — it’s not something I will forget in a hurry. I like the fact that this idea came from the fans, and Formula E listened and accepted the challenge.

“The footage from the drive is very special and it was a privilege to take part. I’m looking forward to returning to Ad Diriyah and to start racing. It’ll be my first race in Formula E and I’m eager to get behind the wheel again. I’ve missed racing and this series has shown to be one of the most competitive out there.”

The 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix is the opening round of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship and the competitive debut of the Gen2 car and VENTURI Formula E Team driver Felipe Massa.

As well as Formula E action, exciting fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions, plus unique dining and retail experiences will be awaiting ticketholders at Ad Diriyah, across three days, starting December 13.

That evening, December 13, will see Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo kick off the first of three incredible nights of music concerts for fans. The following day, December 14, Arab music legend Amr Diab and globally-renowned pop band Black Eyed Peas will delight the audience. And, on December 15, race day, following the exhilarating 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix, US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will bring the event to an electrifying finale.

Only fans holding tickets will be able to access the entire Ad Diriyah site, including all the action, fun, and thrilling complimentary concerts.

Tickets are on sale at http://fiaformulae.com/Ad-Diriyah and are also available at Point of Sale units at Riyadh Park Mall, Oud Square and Doos Carting (only Grandstand tickets from Doos) and Seven Car Lounge.