KSA’s 300kph Haramain train to start service in September

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The Haramain high-speed train. (SPA file photo)
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Saudi Transport Minister Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi. (SPA)
Updated 07 May 2018
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KSA’s 300kph Haramain train to start service in September

JEDDAH: The first high-speed electric trains between Makkah and Madinah will be running by September, Saudi Transport Minister Nabil bin Mohammed Al-Amoudi said on Sunday. 

The high-speed electric train is designed to travel at speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour and is considered the fastest in the Middle East. 

The railway will be able to carry 60 million passengers a year by the time it is fully operational at the beginning of 2019, Al-Amoudi said. 

The 450-kilometer main line will travel through King Abdullah Economic City, with a short branch line to the new King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah. 

Transport is a main pillar of the national economy and a key driver of the economic renaissance that will take place under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy, Al-Amoudi told the opening session of the two-day Makkah Economic Forum at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Jeddah. 

Aside from the Makkah-Madinah railway, the other major transport project is the new airport in Jeddah, the minister said. It will begin operations this month, with a limited number of domestic flights. Further domestic flights will be added in July and September, along with six new gates for international flights.

KAIA will be fully operational in the first three months of 2019, with a total of 46 gates. It will be five times the size of the existing airport, with a capacity of 30 million passengers a year, the minister said.

In addition, the aviation sector planned to develop a further 12 domestic airports, Al-Amoudi said. He described KAIA as one of the most important projects of the Civil Aviation Authority, considering it as a quality shift in the services of the airport, which is five times bigger than the existing one and with a capacity to accommodate more than 30 million travelers.

He said the first phase of the airport’s operational plan will start in May and will include a limited number of domestic flights through six gates. Other domestic flights through five gates will be added in July. In the third phase starting in September, the designed number of domestic flights will be completed and a number of international flights will be added through six new gates, which increases the total number to 17 gates. 


Saudi capsule hotels and fire extinguishing balls employed for serving pilgrims during Hajj season

Updated 8 min 9 sec ago
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Saudi capsule hotels and fire extinguishing balls employed for serving pilgrims during Hajj season

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Hadiyah Association has employed global experiences and modern technology to serve pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season by introducing the “capsule hotel” and the “fire extinguishing ball.”
Made of plastic and fiberglass, each capsule hotel room is 220-cm-long, 120-cm-wide, and 120-cm-high and is supported by a metal structure. The walls are made of fireproof environment-friendly ABS, and the doors have magnetic locks that open automatically in case of power failure.
Every capsule provides good ventilation that operate at a rate of 30 cubic meters per hour and has two fans, each of which operates at three different speeds.
The capsules are also equipped with all the necessities for ending the state of Ihram, including showers, washing basins and ironing clothes, in addition to an electric control unit, safety and comfort tools, a smoke detector, a small fire extinguisher, an electronic locker for keeping personal belongings, a digital alarm clock that also shows the temperature inside the capsule, different lighting options with special lights for reading, a television, and an ionic air purifier that produces high negative ions to eliminate germs and dust.
The capsules are opened using a magnetic card programmed for each room with a pre-determined period of use.
Another invention adopted by Hadiyah Association is the fire extinguishing ball, a device that works in a matter of three-five seconds from the instant it touches flames. The ball blasts and disperses a white cloud of dried extinguishing chemicals over an area of four cubic meters to isolate the burning substance from oxygen.
The ball also releases the sound of a 138-decibel-explosion to alert nearby people and does not pose harm to humans or the environment.
It is also lightweight (1.5 kg) and convenient for women, children, and the elderly to use.