High-speed rail takes minister on first Madinah-Makkah journey

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Saudi Transport Minister Nabeel Al-Amoudi and Spanish Ambassador Alvaro Iranzo sit in the Haramain high-speed train that links the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah on Sunday. (SPA)
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Updated 01 January 2018
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High-speed rail takes minister on first Madinah-Makkah journey

RIYADH: Dr. Nabil Al-Amoudi, minister of transport and chairman of Saudi Railway Organization and Saudi Railways Company (SAR), on Sunday took the first 450km full journey of the high-speed Haramain train.
The non-stop journey went from Madinah station to Makkah station to examine the readiness of the project before commercial operation of the service.
The head of the public transport authority, President-designate of the Saudi Railway Organization Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih, Spanish Ambassador Alvaro Iranzo, the chief executive of SAR, Dr. Bashar Al-Malik, and several national leaders working on the project, in addition to experts from the consortium entrusted with the operation of the Holy Mosques high-speed rail, also went on the journey.
Al-Amoudi said that this project is of strategic importance and has attracted global attention, as it is one of the mega public transportation projects linking the two Holy Mosques of Makkah and Madinah.
“In addition to the great benefit of transporting Umrah and Hajj pilgrims and visitors, the project facilitates transportation of citizens and residents in the Kingdom via the Holy Mosques high-speed rail through five stations and at high speed throughout the year,” he added.
Al-Rumaih confirmed that the pilot service journeys for Holy Mosques high-speed rail would start in the coming months.
He also explained that during these pilot service journeys, some passengers would be invited to try the service.
“These journeys will increase gradually until the full commercial operation,” he said, noting that “work is underway to determine the ticket prices to be appropriate and reflect the size of service provided in this project.”
Al-Rumaih added: “The consortium charged with the implementation of the project will run it for the next 12 years.”


Pilgrims crowd Grand Mosque to hear last Friday sermon before Hajj

Imam Saud Al-Shuraim delivered an emotional sermon on Friday. (Saudi TV)
Updated 17 August 2018
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Pilgrims crowd Grand Mosque to hear last Friday sermon before Hajj

  • Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the globe have made the trip to take part in this year’s pilgrimage

MAKKAH: Pilgrims packed Makkah’s Grand Mosque to hear the Friday sermon ahead of the start of Hajj. 

They listened to an emotional speech by imam Saud Al-Shuraim on the magnitude and significance of Hajj.

Nearly 2 million pilgrims from around the globe have made the trip to take part in this year’s pilgrimage. 

Worshippers will head to Mina for the start of Hajj on Sunday before heading to the plains of Arafat on Monday for the climax of the annual ritual. 

A number of Saudi ministries are coordinating to facilitate for pilgrims their prescribed rites. 

The Hajj and Umrah ministry has set up a special number to assist pilgrims and the minister, Mohammed Saleh Banten, reiterated that politics and Hajj don’t mix. 

“Saudi Arabia has no condition to impose on any Muslim coming only to perform their Hajj rituals in peace,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Yahya, director general of passports, told a press conference: “Up to this moment, our air, land and sea checkpoints have warmly received 1,684,629 pilgrims from different countries of the world.”